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Houston, TX


Living in Houston - 2/14/2019
The city of Houston indeed has a varying set of cultures. But do know that many neighborhoods are very different from one another, both in terms of ethnicity and prosperity.

Although not the most dangerous city, the crime is higher than average, and the homicide rate in recent times are about the same as they were in the late 1990s. But robbery remains a pervasive problem, as are accidental gun deaths, burglaries, petty thefts, and auto thefts.

Housing is cheaper compared to other cities, but not so much when it comes to neighborhoods in the Inner Loop. It's possible for a 3-bedroom house to cost $1M. Also, some houses are affected by Hurricane Harvey, so one must take into account flooding issues in some areas.

Lots of ethnicity to experience in the city, making the experience less monotonous. Plenty of opportunities for international festivals, general or otherwise, and great food. Challenges the notion that all Southern cities are mostly black and white.

However, a substantial number of suburbs in Houston do have a strong blue-collar, Deep South feel. Some previous commentators may say it gives a racist vibe, but it depends on the person. However, I can say that the suburbs of Houston are different compared to the suburbs of DC and the suburbs of NYC. There is hardly anything resembling Tomball, Deer Park, or Magnolia in the Northeastern Corridor, at least when it comes to suburbia. Some may say that the northeastern suburbs are snobbish and Ivy League-obsessed, but again, it depends on the person.

It may not be as relevant as it used to be, but selections for radio stations are very narrow for a city this size. There are no classical radio stations. There are no indie / left-of-center music radio stations. There are several Christian and country radio stations, again for a city this size.

The transportation system can use a lot of improvement, especially for a city this size. METRORail notably does not serve the Galleria area, Alief, Sharpstown, IAH, or Hobby. Also, there are no commuter rail lines, meaning no train service to downtown from, say, Sugar Land or The Woodlands. The roads can be more dangerous to drive on, as Houston has more car deadly accidents per capita compared to other major cities.

Do know that there are no state income taxes, but property taxes can be high depending on where you live. Sales tax is 8.25%.

As a city in a subtropical climate, Houston does not experience blizzards, so therefore, one does not worry about shovelling snow as much. However, summers, which can last very long, can be hot and sweltering.

There are many pros and cons to consider about Houston. Personally for me, while I did not hate my stay in Houston, it's not a place I would live on a permanent basis.
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