Key findings

Best Places to Live in and Around Houston

See all the best places to live around Houston

Compare Houston, TX Livability

      vs

      How Do You Rate The Livability In Houston?

      1. Select a livability score between 1-100
      0
      Awful
      25
      Poor
      50
      Average
      75
      Good
      100
      Great
      2. Select any tags that apply to this area View results

      Houston Real estate & Rental prices

      See Houston real estate or rentals

      Houston, TX

      Houston offers a nice mix of Southern hospitality and urban city living. It’s known for its vibrant culture and fine dining scene. It’s also known as one of the more inexpensive travel destinations within the US, but it does not compromise amenities for low cost. Award-winning restaurants, as well as street vendors who sell delicious tacos and other local cuisine are standard. It’s also home to NASA’s Mission Control. Houston is also the nation’s oil and gas industry hub, providing thousands of jobs to people moving there.

      The average salary is slightly above the national average, and Houston’s job market has been rapidly expanding during the past ten years. There are loose zoning laws that allow entrepreneurs to take advantage of opportunities that pop up. The city government welcomes businesses, which makes it a thriving hotspot for entrepreneurs from all sectors.

      The top industries are Medical, Production, Aerospace, and Energy. The median home price is is slightly below the national average, and above the state average. In other words, the value that you would get from an average house in Houston for the amount that you would pay for it is outstanding because it’s below the national average and in a metropolitan area. Property in Houston is so inexpensive because all of the land surrounding the city is flat, which allows the city to simply expand outward as it grows. This geography keeps property prices low because land is easily attainable. The average rental price for an 880 square foot apartment is below the national average as well.

      If you’re coming from the north, the winter temperatures in Houston will be a welcome change, with an average of 56° F. The temperatures skyrocket up to an average of 83° F in the summer, providing the balmy weather that many enjoy.

      Since it’s the South, Houston doesn’t have an extensive public transport system comparable to cities like New York and Los Angeles. However, millions of people take the city’s METRO buses and METRORail every month, so you aren’t without luck if you want to take public transportation.

      Houston is a city that has a great cultural scene, with no shortage of restaurants and food trucks to try out. It also has a booming job industry that welcomes the entrepreneurial spirit. Additionally, Houston has temperatures that are bearable in both the winter and the summer. Also, the housing costs are inexpensive compared to the rest of the United States. All of this adds up to make a city that allows for a wide selection of entertainment and has fantastic opportunities for growth and potential.

      Top Rated Schools in Houston

      See all Houston schools

      Houston Reviews

      Write a review about Houston Tell people what you like or don't like about Houston…
      Review Houston
      Overall rating Rollover stars and click to rate
      Rate local amenities Rollover bars and click to rate
      Attractions0/10
      Community0/10
      Nightlife0/10
      Dining0/10
      Shopping0/10
      Pass on Houston, 500 better places to live

      Attractions6/10
      Community1/10
      Nightlife5/10
      Dining7/10
      Shopping5/10
      The Good news. Great place to visit for medical care, some of the best hospitals in country. Lots of culture everything from art to music to theatre. Restaurants of every country, bring the most diverse city. All religions are embraced and meant centers of health, social and medical for the LGBTQ community.

      BAD NEWs.....aggressive drivers that carry guns.
      Very high insurance rates. Streets in very poor condition, full of potholes, your car will get torn up.! VERY polluted. Will need to buy air & water purifiers. WAter quality listed in top 1o of worst polluted. Do NOT drink from the faucet. Inside the loop very dirty where rent cost brown $1000 to $3500@ month. You will be charged pet rent, pet security fee And pet fees. 2 animals usual limit for apts with. Reed restrictions. WAter treatment plants stink especially T night and see dead fish along w garbage in bayou. Sales tax here is 8.25%. Highways are confusing and under construction in multiple locations. The 610 tends to be 65mph then comes to a crawl/stop all day. Several toll roads with no alternate way to pay if you don't have Pass. HUGE homeless population especially around Minute Maid Park downtown. Watch out for. Beggars and homeless T main intersections and under overpasses. Mass transit runs frequently Inside the loop. NO Zoning. You can see a multilevel box like mansion next to a brick house from 1954. Land in town very sparse so you will see homes built next to highways, utility easements, dumps etc. F flooding Is and Will continue to be problem during heavy rains.$$$look up the flood history of the apt,home and pArking areas esp underground or 1st floor $$$BUY flood insurance. CRIME is bad....Learn what areas to avoid, take precAutions after Dark. We stopped way thing news after 6 mos bc it gave us nightmares. Trafficking issues of young and packs of cats & dogs abandoned all over city. Apparently many resident think of pets as property and throw them out. City of Houston is broke despite the rich corporations and oil companies.
      • 13 -1
      Best of all worlds!

      Attractions10/10
      Community10/10
      Nightlife10/10
      Dining10/10
      Shopping10/10
      I am a Houston native--I grew up "in the loop" which is the inner city area and I am thrilled to call Houston home again one day. I have only just moved away 6 months ago and I am 27. I always lived in central Houston, so my view is skewed based on that and my love for the city. First of all, the infrastructure of Houston sucks--it is the result of growing population. The weather... is atrocious. The humidity is unreal. Everywhere I travel, people swear it gets just as hot there but I have not been anywhere as sweltering as Houston. Just remember, it is a swamp but the humidity is great for your skin! The traffic... even worse... public transport isn't the best but they are working on it! The pollution is a thing, especially with the thick humidity but... what large city isn't polluted?! Yes, flooding is a thing.... EVERY city has tradeoffs. These are the things you put up with for all the good!Houston's cost of living and immense economic opportunity is nuts-- the best place for someone to become successful no matter what you do for a living. Hospitality is a major industry that can offer a great life for someone without a college education. Not to mention the trades that are in HIGH demand here. Healthcare and Oil related jobs are everywhere! Not to mention, it is one of the best places to start a business! The city has a rebirth in population over and over which causes an overhaul on infrastructure all the time. Yes, the constant construction is rough... but it is a sign that the city is always improving. The Houston government has not taken an economical hit like the rest of the state or country because of the various industries keeping jobs in tact. I met more people that moved back to Houston after the housing crisis losing their houses in other states because HTX's housing market and economy was still stable.Education gets tricky--the suburbs have great schools and HISD have some amazing schools! Depending on the neighborhood within the city limits, you may be zoned to a undesirable school but almost every HISD school has a magnet program of some sort so you can pretty much pick which school you wish. I grew up in the loop and was zoned to rough schools but I just got on an academic transfer or performing arts transfer and went to any school I wanted and received transportation. I received an excellent education surrounded by various ethnicities in the student body as well as teachers. Houston is THE most diverse city in the country. YES it has surpassed NYC as the most diverse city. Houston is a very politically neutral city which I love. Watch Anthony Bourdain's "Parts Unknown" Houston episode and see. The city stays pretty democratic and fairly liberal but there is enough of a conservative force (TX) that balances it out that allows for a pretty effective local government! Houston has AMAZING food and some excellent museums. There are many professional dance companies and other performing companies.There is some sort of international festival downtown every weekend. Downtown used to be just a working district but it has really changed into a great nightlife and more residential area. Over the last 5-10 years the city has really started to transform to keep up with the other National big cities as far as convenience and amenities. The city is not walkable by any means but more areas are becoming connected.My favorite thing about Houston... the grit. There is an undeniable authenticity to Houston that other cities lack (Ahem, Austin). The only other cities that have this grit that I speak of (while maintaining livability and vibrance) are Chicago and Philadelphia. Austin and Dallas have been the shining stars in Texas for a long time...no one can deny Dallas' polarizing sparkle and Austin's expensive beauty but they both have a phony element that gets under my skin.If you want to live somewhere with REAL people and REAL food with REAL opportunity where you can actually afford to build the life you want... then HTX is a great place to look. Oh, and also.... fajitas were invented in Houston. :)
      • 2 -2
      ANIMAL ABUSE RUNS RAMPANT

      Attractions1/10
      Community1/10
      Nightlife1/10
      Dining1/10
      Shopping1/10
      Horrible, horrible animal abuse and neglect. Politicians do nothing but turn a blind eye. Worst I have ever seen in any city I have been to. Embarrassed to even say I live here. Can't wait to move to another city where laws are more compassionate. Hate it here.
      • 3 -1
      Animal abuse and neglect

      Attractions1/10
      Community1/10
      Nightlife1/10
      Dining1/10
      Shopping1/10
      I have never ever seen so much animal abuse and neglect as in Houston. Everyday that I look on facebook there is a story of an animal that has been abused badly. There are no laws or prices to pay for the ones doing the horrific crimes to these living animals. The politicians turn their heads to it and do nothing to change the laws. I have lived here for 6 years and can't wait to move. I know it goes on everywhere but in Houston it is an everyday thing. It will never stop and will continue because the people doing it know they CAN. I am horrified at all the neglect, abuse and homelessness in that city. There is nothing good about it. Anyone that can turn a blind eye to what is going on is just as guilty. I preach to everyone I can about the sickening things that happen to animals in this city. Nothing at all beautiful or welcoming about it. It is a very sad and uncompassionate city. I am embarrassed to even tell anyone I live here. Can't wait to get out.
      • 4 -2
      Houston has become a huge mess

      Attractions1/10
      Community2/10
      Nightlife2/10
      Dining9/10
      Shopping8/10
      After Hurricane Harvey the city has even more construction and appears more dirty. The streets are horrible filled with potholes, cracks and bumps that will tear your car up daily. The traffic is a mess on every freeway and even worse now because of the construction. The city is filled with homeless people under the freeway and walking all over the city. They may be harmless, however it's hard to tell. I've been running and had an individual screaming and yelling at me; mostly harmless I'm sure, though. I don't even want to mention the release of the dam water by the Army Corps but I guess I'll add that in for fun. Sitting in side after the hurricane; thinking it was all over and with no electricity or internet (i.e. no communication with the outside world) the water was released with no warning to residents (in my area anyway). You wake up the next morning blocked in with 3 feet of water and slowly it rises up to the door. No rescue boats; no communication. In fact, the fireman at the fire station said we were on our own. We finally fled through 3-5 feet of water for about a mile and a half leaving everything behind. So, living here my entire lifetime I think it's time to go.........Oh yeah, there are some great restaurants.
      • 4 0
      It's not what you think at all..Turn around find another place

      Attractions1/10
      Community1/10
      Nightlife1/10
      Dining1/10
      Shopping1/10
      Where to start, 1.Your insurance rate is going to skyrocket. I have good credit no accidents/or tickets add $150 (monthly)to my rate. Why bad drivers, no drivers education needed here, many people can't read the signs so they don't have a clue what to do. The amount of illegals driving slow so they won't get pulled over is crazy. Poor infrastructure horrible roads, due to flooding or poor upkeep. 2. If you don't live in the inner loop forget it. You'll have to go out to burbs with a long commute . 11 miles =55 minutes daily plus depending if there is a light out. The traffic lights are always out in the medical district.. why rain, wind who knows. 3.Just plain dirty -Floods all the time 4.Scenery oh homeless and choosy panhandler's I've seen people take a complete dump at a traffic light ,5.Cable /Internet expensive Comcast who is going to get satellite service in a hurricane prone place. 6. Demographics -parents will let their kids play in trash dumpsters-out of control7.They have a few parks here but it's a fieldtrip to go to-needs more outdoor space*Pollution OMG coming from sunshine to haze, ozone alerts, factory hazards pumped in the air ,and the spraying for bugs with toxins. Bad for allergies, headache... Just run
      • 6 0
      Utility Trap for Low Socioeconomic Communities

      Attractions10/10
      Community1/10
      Nightlife10/10
      Dining10/10
      Shopping10/10
      City of Houston Water Utility Company runs a scam on poor impoverished communities by limiting providers, and skyrocketing prices. Beware of monopoly that is ran by this rapacious business. F minus in rating. Live with rich or else....
      • 3 -1
      Hodgepodge of anything and everything...

      Attractions6/10
      Community5/10
      Nightlife6/10
      Dining6/10
      Shopping8/10
      Overall, the area is highly congested, fairly boring, and usually hot/humid. It has a reasonable cost of living due to most people not wanting to live there in the first place. However, if your looking for a beginner's city to start a family, it's a decent place to live.
      • 1 -2
      Run don't walk

      Attractions1/10
      Community2/10
      Nightlife3/10
      Dining3/10
      Shopping9/10
      Construction, traffic and streets that will jar your jaw out of alignment. Property taxes and homeowners insurance very high. As for crime, I feel safer on the subways of NYC than walking into a convenience store. If you can afford to eat out every night there are great restaurants. If you are looking for other attractions, really not much. If you don't live here now and are thinking about moving, think again...check out what people are paying for insurance and property taxes on Zillow...you will probably take a pass.
      • 4 0
      If Jersey is the armpit of America, Houston is the butthole.

      Attractions4/10
      Community3/10
      Nightlife5/10
      Dining5/10
      Shopping10/10
      I don't know where to start. When I moved to Houston, I was excited about being in such a large thriving city. Then I experienced 90° weather in November, a flood every time we have a decent rain, two vehicle break- ins, a friend whose home was burglarized and had her car stolen, and countless hours in the mind numbing traffic.

      The excitement has worn off. Houston is a dirty, sprawling, polluted, congested, city full of the poorest of the poor and the richest of the rich. It is not bicycle friendly or walker friendly. There are plenty of trails, but if you're a woman, you better be packin' because your chances of getting raped by some loon hiding in the woods are pretty high. (Please look up "thunderwear"). The roads are about as well constructed as a sandbox. Potholes everywhere... Unless you're in the richer parts of town. They put signs up that read "bump" and they make you wonder "did I go over the bump yet? Is the bump still ahead? Is that an old bump sign?" If there were a bump sign on Kirkwood to warn drivers of the impending doom to their wheels, they'd have a sign every two feet.

      One good thing about Houston is the way the roads are laid out. You almost never have to worry about missing a turn because you will always come to a u-turn intersection. Of course, you would never know this if you were strictly judging based off of the idiots cutting across five lanes of traffic so they don't miss their exit.

      In summary:
      The food is good.

      The churches are excellent.

      The roads are crap.

      The crime is worse than crap.

      The weather is the fungus that feeds the crap that is worse than crap.

      It's not walkable and it takes forever to get anywhere because it's so huge.

      HORRIBLE air quality.

      The traffic sucks your life away. Hey, we found the machine from the princess bride that sucks years of your life away! It's called Houston traffic.

      I would recommend searching elsewhere before coming here. The money you make will never compensate for the unavoidable quality of life sacrifices you will have to make.
      • 5 -2
      car city - big, backward, pedestrian unfriendly, pay for traffic jams

      Attractions4/10
      Community3/10
      Nightlife5/10
      Dining5/10
      Shopping5/10
      Houston, where I was born, has been and seems that it will always be, owned and operated by developers. Want sidewalks, move somewhere else. Want areas for pedestrian access without cars roaring about, move. Want mass transit, go somewhere else. Want maintained infrastructure like streets, electricity, etc ... try another locale. The developers who run this town don't want to affect their profit margin by actually solving any of these things. When the wind blows, you lose power. When it rains, you get flooded. In a city where hurricanes do happen, where big rain is an every year phenomenon, you would think Houston would have electrical power and water management solved. Not so ... Hurricane Ike, 5 years ago ... my sister was out of power for 2 weeks and her entire neighborhood submerged. Flooding - you got it.
      Traffic jams, you got 'em. Even though all highway studies since the 1950's and every road expansion project in the World have proven that building bigger freeways does not solve the traffic problem, what does Houston do? You know it ...! Build bigger freeways!! More interesting is that the populace accepts it. Lemmings all. That huge Katy Freeway I10 expansion project was not a traffic solver project, it was a revenue generator project. Took all that space and reserved it for a Toll Road embedded in I10, with a rate that floats on the market, becoming more expensive during rush hours when you really need the additional lanes. Ain't that a thumb in the collective commuter eye! Interesting to note that mass transit has been blocked by local, state and federal level politicians ... forever. Wonder why they do not want it? Maybe because it is always more lucrative to bandaid something than to solve it, so we get more and more road projects worth MILLIONS to developers. Do we have a great system or what?!? Oh, those buses billowing diesel smog on the streets, those take so long to get anywhere that they do not count - it's what one would call a token effort.
      The Houston commuter experience is surreal. 290, 59, I10, Beltway 8, Westpark Tollway, Katy Tollway and others ... so many opportunities to actually pay for sitting in a traffic jam or to participate in a daily NASCAR event. And people do it! Never underestimate the power of apathy. Houston motorists have it, because what choice do they have?!? Gotta drive, roads are crowded, can't escape. The alternative is to go the local streets; That is sometimes not bad, but be careful. I have had 3 ruined tires from bad streets in 5 years. Usually in the rain when the lunar crater street topography is covered by water (that flooding thing again) and you can't see what you are going to hit.
      Want to park in the wrong place and get ticketed and towed? Easy to do since Houston nevevr met a "No Parking" sign it didn't like. Result: hundreds of varieties to confuse and perplex the millions of car driving citizens, all of whom must go from place in cars since there is NO MASS TRANSIT to speak of. What does it cost if you get ticketed and towed? Tell them what you win, Monty ... $300 - $400 in ticket and towing charges. So, given that a speeding ticket of 10 mph over the posted limit is ~$150, Houston has deemed parking in the wrong spot to be at least twice as dangerous to public as speeding.
      Houston has a low cost of living, I have heard... it has to be because the monthly gasoline cost, toll costs, car repairs from bad roads costs and inevitably the cost of private schools will eat you alive.
      • 5 -1
      It used to be nice, but.....

      Attractions6/10
      Community3/10
      Nightlife4/10
      Dining4/10
      Shopping3/10
      Houston USED to be a great city, but through a series of horrendous mayors, Houston has been handed over to criminals and thugs. Victims from hurricane Katrina were bussed in to live off the government dime, race wars have been started through false accusation and media frenzy, the current mayor (whom I firmly believe was elected because she is a lesbian, and for no other reason) hates the fire department and is doing her best to destroy it and turn it into just another politically correct tool in her campaign arsenault (she hasn't succeeded yet, but she's running lives right and left), the mayor is also blowing the city budget on "go green" program that is completely useless unless your average citizen makes over a couple of hundred thousand dollars a year (which they just don't). Crime rates in ALL areas have sky rocketed (thanks to the criminals who were bussed in after Katrina to live off the govt, and are still living off the govt even now).

      The map of neighborhoods is a joke. Somebody must have "accidentally" mixed up their colors, because all of the green on that map should be orange. There are very few decent neighborhoods in the downtown area, and those are surrounded by ghetto on all sides. If you live in one of those neighborhoods, you had better hope you have the very best of the best alarm systems, a Rottweiler that is trained to kill, guns with plenty of ammo, and an in with HPD so that maybe they'll respond to your break in before they respond to all of the others that are coming in at the same time.

      The suburbs used to be nice, until they extended the bus lines. Now all the criminal element that used to be limited to downtown are given unlimited access to whatever neighborhoods they feel like victimizing. Once affluent neighborhoods, schools, parks, and malls, have been taken over by low life good for nothings. At the shopping centers and malls, they go and stay all day, not shopping, just loitering and trashing the stores. Why don't the police do anything about it? They're not allowed to, or they're racial profiling, which makes them racists, which of course, is a horrible thing to be (and it really is..... if one truly hates a person because of their race, that person is worthless, IMO).

      Yeah, Houston used to be a great place, but I wouldn't go back there for anything!
      • 2 -2
      Diversity can be bad too...

      Attractions6/10
      Community3/10
      Nightlife6/10
      Dining6/10
      Shopping6/10
      If you're not white, this city may be for you. I have lived here for a year now and have traveled all over the continental U.S., so my post is not regionally biased by any means. There are very few whites employed in any "menial" jobs, especially in the retail service sector so consequently, service at many retail establishments is horrible. I have never seen an entire city embrace mediocrity on such a large scale.
      -Traffic is abysmal....everywhere, at almost all times. It is a systemic problem, not just the number of people. The drivers as a whole are the least courteous, refusing to obey basic traffic rules, changing lanes constantly, etc., that I have ever seen. The street lanes are more narrow than in most other cities, the sidewalks and roads are in horrendous condition, even though construction is never ending. The traffic lights are timed in the absolute most counter-intuitive ways imaginable. Come sit at the lights and you'll see what I mean.
      -There are probably more people employed as leaf blowers than there are Mexican restaurants. Trash everywhere in the streets could better be picked up by these people rather than these "rocket men" blowing leaves around.
      -There are almost as many pan-handlers around as there are Mexican restaurants. Have you gathered that there are an inordinate amount of Mexican restaurants?? These pan-handlers, or beggars, will harass you for money or cigarettes at almost every intersection in the city.
      -Hardly anyone speaks English. It should be clear why this is problematic, unless you are just a moron.
      -Crime is abundant and rampant. Almost all of the areas of town are either Mexi-ghettos or black ghettos.

      Other than these things, I love Houston!
      • 3 -6
      One of the most diverse places in the nation

      Attractions8/10
      Community8/10
      Nightlife10/10
      Dining10/10
      Shopping10/10
      Simply looking at the demographics provided on this site does not do justice to the diversity of the city of Houston. Every culture you can think of is represented here. In what other city in Texas is jury duty a cultural experience. Walking downtown you will hear a huge variety of languages and see people from many different parts of the world.

      Houston's attractions and sports teams are world class as well. The Houston Livestock show and Rodeo is the largest rodeo in the nation and attracts lots of great performers. Houston is also home to a number of great museums and a fantastic zoo. The Houston medical center is known for its contributions to medicine especially in the fields of cancer research and treatment.

      All things considered, I would say that Houston is a great place to visit and an even better place to live.
      • 3 -4
      Humid Houston, Texas

      Attractions6/10
      Community8/10
      Nightlife7/10
      Dining7/10
      Shopping7/10
      I traveled to Houston to visit my cousin. I will say that this is a very popular city in Texas, although it's not the capital. The traffic is horrid. We spent hours at a time in traffic trying to get from one end of the city to the other.

      While in Houston, I attended a concert at the Toyota Center, home of the Houston Rockets. It was pretty large and impressive. On the other hand, if you've seen one arena, you've seen them all. I visited a few restaurants in Houston, but none of them stood out as being the best. Houston can get pretty hot during the summertime, which is the time of year I visited. There were a couple of days in which the temperature climbed above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. These were the days when I chose to do strictly indoor activities.

      The Galleria is, of course, one of the most popular sites in Houston. There are a lot of different stores that provide enough variety to please every member of the family. I found the size of the mall impressive, but the stores weren't too different from what you would find in your local mall. One thing I found unique about this mall was the fact that there's a skating rink in the middle of it. I think this is a great attraction for children and adults alike. Even if you don't skate, which I don't, it was still fun to sit and watch the others. Houston is a nice place to visit, however, the traffic congestion can cause a bit of frustration. Public transportation isn't available to every location, so driving might be the only option. Overall, it's a good place to drop in for a 3 day weekend trip.
      • 1 -1
      A Guide Through the City of Houston, Texas

      Attractions7/10
      Community9/10
      Nightlife8/10
      Dining8/10
      Shopping8/10
      As it is the fourth largest city in the United States, Houston, Texas can be a little overwhelming at times in terms of sheer size and large population. However, looking solely at these two particular caveats would be doing a great injustice to the city of Houston. With a wide range of races, ethnic backgrounds, and cultures, Houston provides the perfect melting pot for people from all walks of life to come together in one urban-type setting. The city of Houston has some of the friendliest people one could ever know, as the people just have a genuineness about them that is unique.

      With the sheer number of knowledgeable engineers and technicians that are coming down to Houston to work in the oil and energy sectors, it makes a person feel pretty comfortable that the best only lies ahead in the city of Houston. The city has many great school systems, which allow parents the opportunity to have their kids receive great educations without having to worry for their safety.
      • 2 0
      Reason for reporting
      Source: The Houston, TX data and statistics displayed above are derived from the 2016 United States Census Bureau American Community Survey (ACS).