What Is The Cost of Living in Houston, Tx?

Houston is a city that offers a diverse culture and excellent amenities. You’ll find world-class restaurants, art galleries and nightlife, as well as great schools (high schools, private schools and elementary schools) and low crime rates.

As a result, the city is quite affordable to live in compared to other major metro areas. However, there are a few things you should be aware of when planning to move to Houston.

Housing Costs

Houston is an affordable city to live in, with housing costs being more than 4% lower than the national average and a staggering 25% below the average of America’s other highly-populated metropolitan areas (Greater Houston Partnership). The cost of living in Houston is relatively low, so it makes sense that many people choose to relocate to the area.

However, the Houston real estate market has seen a lot of changes in recent years. Prices and sales have increased dramatically in Greater Houston, especially in the last few years.

The housing affordability gap has also grown significantly, meaning that more than half of households in the Houston region cannot afford to buy a home with their earnings.

As a result, the majority of residents continue to rent homes or apartments. The average rent in Houston for a one-bedroom apartment is $1,152. For a two-bedroom apartment, the average price is $1,268.

There are many different types of housing available in the Houston area, so it’s important to consider your personal budget before making a decision about where to live. Whether you’re looking for a large city apartment or a smaller suburban apartment, there are options that will fit your needs and budget.

Food and Grocery Expenses

Food and grocery expenses can vary widely depending on where you live, how you shop, and your specific dietary preferences. However, the average Houston resident spends about $450 per month on groceries and dining out, while a family of four will spend between $1,100 and $1,200 monthly on similar purchases.

When it comes to groceries, the best way to save money in Houston is by buying as locally as possible. Locally grown foods typically cost less than their foreign counterparts and are often more nutritious.

The most expensive foods in the city are those that can’t be found at your local supermarket, such as exotic fruits and vegetables. These items can easily add up to more than a single person can afford.

As a result, the most affordable foods in Houston tend to be basic staples like milk and eggs, which can be bought at your nearest grocery store. On the other hand, a single person might be able to save money by cooking meals from scratch at home and eating out only occasionally.

If you need to get around town, transportation costs can make up a significant portion of your monthly budget. The MIT Living Wage Calculator estimates that a single adult will spend about $5,509 on transportation in Houston each year. A family of three (two working adults and one child) will spend about $12,709 a year on transportation.

Utility Costs

Houston is known for its high utility costs, which can add up if you’re living in an energy-efficient home. Fortunately, there are ways to lower your monthly bill, like installing quality insulation and switching to a low-cost electricity plan.

Houston is one of the nation’s leading renewable energy generators and has a lot to offer to eco-conscious consumers. The city’s power is generated through a mix of solar and wind energy, making it an ideal place for those looking to reduce their carbon footprint.

In Texas, you’ll find many energy providers that offer competitive rates for green energy. Some of these plans include a fixed percentage of green energy, while others come with an entirely green power supply.

The best way to ensure you’re paying the lowest possible rates is to compare electricity plans in your area. In Texas, retail electricity providers compete for your business through a deregulated market. You’ll find dozens of providers in Houston, and each will have a different energy plan to suit your power needs.

Transportation Costs

Aside from the cost of housing, transportation in Houston is a big part of the reason it can be an expensive city to live in. The Citizens Budget Commission calculated that a median Houston household spends 50 percent of their income on transportation, compared to about 45 percent in New York City.

One of the most obvious ways to reduce transportation costs is to make smart use of public transit. Houston’s METRO bus system has dozens of routes, including many that run along city streets.

It’s also worth exploring options like the METRORail, which spans 22 miles and serves downtown, Midtown, Hermann Park, Museum District, Rice University, Texas Medical Center and NRG Stadium. Tickets can be purchased for a single ride or a day pass for $3.

METRORail fares are discounted for students, seniors, Medicare cardholders, the disabled and jurors. You can download the METRO app to track routes, fares and bus stops.

Another option is to hire a taxi or ride sharing service. The city’s flat cab fare is $6 per ride, and there are a few different ride-sharing services that operate in the city.

If you’re planning on going out of town for the weekend, consider renting a car. This will make it easier to avoid traffic and save you money on gas. If you love driving yourself, you probably love cars and would be into the car shows in Houston by the way.

Entertainment and Recreation

Houston is a diverse city that offers a variety of entertainment and recreation options. From live music concerts to culinary events, there is something for everyone. You can also enjoy local farmers markets, cultural festivals and other family-friendly activities in Houston.

The city has a wide range of museums that showcase different kinds of art – talk of The Children’s Museum of Houston and The Seismique Interactive Art Museum for example. There are also a variety of theaters that show different performances. You can visit the Theatre District to watch world-class performances, such as the Houston Grand Opera and the Alley Theatre.

Another fun thing to do in Houston is to visit the Museum of Natural Science. The exhibitions at this attraction are incredibly fascinating, and you can learn a lot about how the body works in a fun way.

If you are a big fan of space, you can check out the NASA Space Center. This attraction is a great way to see the stars up close, and it is also a great place to learn about space travel and other related topics.

Another fun place to go in Houston is McGonigel’s Mucky Duck, which has live blues music. This place is open Monday to Saturday and has great drinks, so it is a great choice for a night out in the city.

Healthcare Costs

Health care is an important part of life, but it can be expensive in Houston. Whether you’re dealing with high medical bills or simply have limited savings, it’s important to choose a health insurance policy that will fit your budget.

The state of Texas administers Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to help people with low incomes access healthcare. Those programs accounted for 70 percent of all government spending on health care in Texas, according to federal data.

Another major contributor to health care costs in Texas is the cost of prescription drugs and hospital visits. In 2018, the average price of a drug in Texas was $1,196 while a hospital visit cost $1,205.

Fortunately, the state has health insurance subsidies for those who qualify. These subsidies reduce the monthly cost of a Bronze, Silver or Gold plan by a certain amount depending on your income level. These subsidies can help you pay for the lowest cost health insurance plan in Houston that meets your needs and your budget.

Taxes in Houston

Houston is a fairly affordable city to live in, thanks to its low cost of living and a lack of state income tax. It is one of only a few states that do not levy any income taxes.

However, residents do need to pay taxes to the federal government and local governments, which include sales tax, property tax, and car registration fees. These taxes are a major source of revenue for the local government, which uses them to fund roads, police and fire protection, and schools.

The sales tax rate in Texas is 6.25 percent, while local taxing jurisdictions (cities, counties, special-purpose districts and transit authorities) can also impose up to 2 percent for a maximum combined rate of 8.25 percent.

While property taxes are higher in Houston than in many other areas, they are still relatively inexpensive compared to the national average. Those who are at least 65 years old or disabled may postpone their current and delinquent property tax payments by signing a tax deferral affidavit.

If you’re looking for a low-cost place to live that is diverse and culturally rich, Houston might be the right choice for you. The city has a large number of international communities and ethnic neighborhoods, and its economic growth has made it a popular place to relocate.

Final Words

Houston is affordable to live in compared to the rest of the United States. It has a moderate cost of life, good job opportunities, and entertainment options. There are many different housing options available that can fit most budgets. Overall, it is a great place to call home.

Photo by Kevin Hernandez on Unsplash

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