Houston offers a wide variety of living options and it is mostly up to personal taste and preference to find what you like. It is fairly easy to find a stay or home, ranging from hotels, weekly suites and managed apartments to town homes and single family homes with large front and backyards, sometimes with pools or even some acreage attached. The options are wide open but most single expatriates opt for apartments and expatriates with families chose to live in single family homes.
Homeowners like to upgrade to larger homes on a regular basis and there are always plenty of good homes of any size in any area on the market. Compared to other cities in the U.S., the housing market remains stronger than average in Houston and prices haven’t fallen as much. As long as the home is not an exclusive high dollar project, it can keep a good value and resale is generally no problem.
The many real estate agencies that can help in the search for a home and all larger agencies have websites that one can utilize for virtual tours, prices, district and neighborhood information, school information, and so on. There are no fees to search for a home through an agent. When selecting an apartment, the fee is always paid by the management of the apartment. However, when buying a house, fees may apply when closing on a house.
Houston has a low cost of living and this also includes homes. Homes and apartments are very affordable compared to the rest of the country. It is not unusual to upgrade yourself when relocating and picking a home with several bedrooms as it is priced just as much as a much smaller home in another city.
When choosing to relocate, it is important to realize that the age of the buildings in Houston can vary tremendously. As most American cities, Houston is constantly growing and constructing. The first difference one will notice is that the area has a lot of wide open space and due to increasing popularity of living near downtown, many new town homes and apartments are sprouting up closer to the center where mostly older buildings dominated. Often, new buildings are also constructed by tearing down older ones; hence, many districts and streets have an interesting combination of historic, old, small homes and modern complexes. In general, the more popular residential areas are located on the west and northwest side of town and offer nice neighborhoods with a higher quality of living. Pearland, located south of Houston and Sugarland and Missouri City, located southwest of Houston, are growing fast with many new neighborhoods sprouting up.
Prices in newer structures can be quite high compared to older ones. An apartment 5 minutes from downtown in a charming historical house can be as low as $450 a month while an apartment in a newly constructed complex with many nice amenities can average $1,300.
Expatriates seeking more privacy or bringing families generally prefer the outskirts of Houston where single family homes in the price range of $150,000 to 300,000 are the top choice. More expensive and exclusive homes are, of course, available.