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Cost of Living in Houston

IndexInfo
Cost of Living Index (Excl.Rent): 70.92
Rent Index: 45.81
Groceries Index: 67.14
Restaurants Index: 76.91
Cost of Living Plus Rent Index: 59.08
Local Purchasing Power: 150.71
Restaurants [ Edit ] Avg. Range
Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant 14.00 $ 10.00-20.00
Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course 60.00 $ 40.00-75.00
McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal) 7.00 $ 5.50-8.00
Domestic Beer (1 pint draught) 3.12 $ 2.50-5.00
Imported Beer (11.2 oz small bottle) 4.50 $ 3.75-6.00
Cappuccino (regular) 3.82 $ 3.00-4.99
Coke/Pepsi (11.2 oz small bottle) 1.73 $ 1.25-2.00
Water (11.2 oz small bottle) 1.25 $ 1.00-1.70
Markets [ Edit ] Avg.
Milk (regular), (1 gallon) 3.14 $ 2.49-4.00
Loaf of Fresh White Bread (1 lb) 2.56 $ 1.99-3.00
Rice (white), (1 lb) 1.82 $ 1.00-2.45
Eggs (12) 2.93 $ 2.00-3.99
Local Cheese (1 lb) 4.15 $ 3.00-5.00
Chicken Breasts (Boneless, Skinless), (1 lb) 3.54 $ 2.28-5.00
Beef Round (1 lb) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat) 4.62 $ 3.00-6.99
Apples (1 lb) 1.93 $ 1.25-2.50
Banana (1 lb) 0.62 $ 0.47-0.97
Oranges (1 lb) 1.51 $ 0.89-2.00
Tomato (1 lb) 1.57 $ 1.00-2.00
Potato (1 lb) 1.01 $ 0.60-2.00
Onion (1 lb) 0.93 $ 0.80-1.00
Lettuce (1 head) 1.23 $ 0.99-1.80
Water (1.5 liter bottle) 1.47 $ 1.00-2.19
Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) 13.50 $ 9.00-20.00
Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle) 1.70 $ 1.00-2.39
Imported Beer (11.2 oz small bottle) 1.95 $ 1.50-3.00
Pack of Cigarettes (Marlboro) 7.00 $ 6.00-7.50
Transportation [ Edit ] Avg.
One-way Ticket (Local Transport) 1.25 $ 1.25-1.50
Monthly Pass (Regular Price) 42.50 $ 30.00-80.00
Taxi Start (Normal Tariff) 2.90 $ 2.75-5.00
Taxi 1 mile (Normal Tariff) 2.20 $ 2.20-3.00
Taxi 1hour Waiting (Normal Tariff) 24.00 $ 20.00-30.00
Gasoline (1 gallon) 1.92 $ 1.70-2.19
Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car) 20,000.00 $ 18,000.00-25,000.00
Toyota Corolla 1.6l 97kW Comfort (Or Equivalent New Car) 18,994.58 $ 17,300.00-22,000.00
Utilities (Monthly) [ Edit ] Avg.
Basic (Electricity, Heating, Water, Garbage) for 915 sq ft Apartment 125.40 $ 85.00-200.00
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local (No Discounts or Plans) 0.32 $ 0.10-0.50
Internet (10 Mbps, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) 49.67 $ 35.00-70.00
Sports And Leisure [ Edit ] Avg.
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult 36.75 $ 20.00-50.00
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend) 17.00 $ 5.00-30.00
Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat 10.50 $ 9.00-12.00
Clothing And Shoes [ Edit ] Avg.
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Similar) 41.09 $ 30.00-50.00
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, H&M, ...) 37.95 $ 20.00-60.00
1 Pair of Nike Running Shoes (Mid-Range) 70.81 $ 50.00-90.00
1 Pair of Men Leather Business Shoes 96.91 $ 70.00-140.00
Rent Per Month [ Edit ] Avg.
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre 1,298.65 $ 1,000.00-1,600.00
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre 907.98 $ 750.00-1,159.00
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre 2,499.16 $ 2,000.00-3,000.00
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre 1,576.17 $ 1,300.00-2,000.00
Buy Apartment Price [ Edit ] Avg.
Price per Square Feet to Buy Apartment in City Centre 191.81 $ 125.00-235.00
Price per Square Feet to Buy Apartment Outside of Centre 101.42 $ 79.54-150.00
Salaries And Financing [ Edit ] Avg.
Average Monthly Disposable Salary (Net After Tax) 3,440.89 $
Mortgage Interest Rate in Percentages (%), Yearly 3.85 3.25-4.75

Prices in Houston, Texas, United States

These data are based on 2893 entries in the past 12 months from 363 different contributors.
Last update: September, 2016
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Cost of living in Houston is 29.08% lower than in New York (Info)Our estimator (with default settings) estimate monthly expenses for a single person at 800.22$ and for four person family at 2,879.92$ (without rent).
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43 Comments so far

#TexEX on Aug 14, 2016 :
Terribly sad reading #Anon1 comments Please tell everyone you know who is considering moving to Houston how you feel. Houston is a lot kinder and more accepting of people, especially toward Non-George Bush republican loving folks. Actually, it's a fairly liberal city.
If you project antagonistic or entitlement deserving attitudes- not exactly the most pleasant way to be. most jobs embrace hard work, diligence and team work. Most neighborhoods rely on a good neighbor attitude. So go live in Paris, London, NYC, Moscow or Dubai- I'm sure there aren't bunches of racist pr***s in other parts of the world. Sometimes people reap what they sow.
#Anon1 on Aug 06, 2016 :
if you are someone of middle eastern descent or Indian descent, you don't want to move to Houston TX. a bunch of racist pricks down there. do your self a favor and don't move there. they will attack and find ways to find ways to murder you and scream self defense for it. its not worth it. bunch of George bush republican loving state. you are better off going to New York City, London of England, Paris France, Moscow Russia or even Dubai.

you are at a high risk of getting killed in Houston, don't put yourself and your family through that.
#Karthick on Jun 08, 2016 :
Hi Friends, I am planning to move Houston from India. I am planning to move there with my 4 years kid. Need to know the kids education for 4 years kid and the expense for education. I am having different statement that education is free and for kids below 6 years i have to pay a lot. Please provide some information here to decide.
#Mitchell on May 30, 2016 :
Hey guys, could someone please write an honest review, painting the perfect portrait of Houston with his/her words?? I am interested to move here. Is it like the 3rd world countries?! Is it really bad for a fun lifestyle??
#Admin on Apr 09, 2016 :
Regarding previous post from #Anonymous, I've double checked Zillow data and they seem in line with out data, but if you think your opinion matters more, please contribute your information using an "Edit" link. Thanks
#Anonymous on Apr 07, 2016 :
probs with numbers here

1) Price/sq ft to "Buy Apartment Outside of Centre" is closer to cost for Townhouse or Cheap Condo, to buy Apartments or Plexes here is definitely under $60/sqft..not $120.
2) Rent 1 bedroom or 3 bedrooms outside of centre (Houston has multiple major CBDs) - the cost shown is more for luxury apartment/condo prices or inner loop prices. away from CBDs, you can rent nice 4 bedroom homes for cheaper than $1600 or get a decent 3bedroom apt for $800-$1300...you can get a 4 bedroom apt in Memorial or Midtown for less than $1500. the stated $1635.11 on here is a joke.
3) Tennis court rental $21/hr? city/county courts are free..max rate is $7 weekend reserved court for Tournaments and leagues. Woodlands resort is only $12/hr for outdoor courts. Most private community and hoa courts are free for residents to reserve. Where is this $21/hr avg?

some of the other categories are off, by not by as much.. there is some serious number flubbing there.
#vams on Mar 11, 2016 :
Hello Ekhwan ,

To answer your question for cost of living:

If you live in apartment on the east side of houston, 2 bed room( would be good with kids), which would be 1000-1200$ with 1 year lease. Indian groceries 100-200$, other groceries 100-150$, electricity 50-150$ usually less than 100$ all the time except peak summer, drinking water and water usage combined 50$(in Houston it is recommended to drink bottled water), gas very cheap 50-100$ per month, phone 100$ for two, internet 30$ for first year (50$ second year onwards), netflix and yupptv 30$.

Public transportation is not that great. I think used car would be better to save lot of time in waiting.

So, it comes max would be ~$2000 and minimum would be ~1600 without any auto loan. So Rent and Auto loan are major players.

This is without medical expenses and kids expenses. Family insurance add another $500 per month.

Hope this helps. Let me know if you need anything else

Trans
#Ekhwan on Mar 01, 2016 :
Hi,

I planned to further study at University Houston by end of this year for 1 year program. Can anybody recommend the cost of living will look like. As I need to bring my wife and 2 years old son.
#Andrew on Feb 05, 2016 :
If you like far-right politics, extreme heat and humidity, traffic jams, road rage, xenophobia [amid the diversity, white people seem to hate other races and people from other states when it comes to affairs besides business], fundamentalists congregating in megachurches, rampant crime everywhere, all on a city built on a swamp, Houston is definitely your place!
#j on Jan 25, 2016 :
hi, I'm thinking about moving to Houston next year after I graduate college. I will have a bachelors in electrical engineering. How is the job market, what is the cost of living. can I make it with an engineering degree?
#Richard on Nov 08, 2015 :
Houstin is unbearably hot, humid, and bug ridden seven months out of the year. The traffic is horrendous, commutes take far too long and can't possibly be good for your physical or emotional health. Restaurants here are a good and plentiful, but you can't dine outside. Entertainment venues are limited to movies, malls, sporting events and an annual rodeo. It's just too hot for theme parks other than water parks, and other outdoor activities. There is little to no natural beauty, save Memorial Drive/Allen Parkway. Lack of zoning has created a hideous, endless sprawl of strip malls, topless clubs, signage, and urban decay. The suburbs are well manicured and far more organized, but far from the city with no decent transportation to the urban centers. Unlike burbs in other major metros, they too are diversified. Jobs and a low cost of living are why people are here and will continue to come
#Marjorie on Oct 31, 2015 :
The northeast coast is inhabited by more intelligent people, but it's more densely populated. The Midwest is suffering from overcrowding, no jobs, and violent crime. The southeast states belong to Puerto Ricans, Mexican Americans, and retirees. The south central states have a lower cost of living, which attracts lower income families. Katrina drenched Louisiana dispersed her population into her surrounding states, which have yet to recover from the immediate increase in homeless, jobless, uneducated leeches who terrorize not only the major cities but also any modest-sized community which may be able to support their theft and drug habit. If you'd are wanting to improve your level of satisfaction in life in general, don't worry about what you'll spend. Find a community of THINKING individuals and find a way to support yourself there. There are small towns being abandoned for lack of jobs. Become self-sustaning. Harvest rain water. Raise chickens. Garden, sew, cook. Raise cattle. Stay away from big cities, crime, nightlife and stupid people. Your life will be peaceful. That's priceless!
#john on Oct 11, 2015 :
Avg. income is not $3100. Typical wage in Texas is $12/hr and many are paid just $7.25. How does $12/hr get to $3100/month net income??
#Jess on Mar 21, 2015 :
***hey i have been looking in to the woodlands area or a nice suburb area to bring me and my CALIFORNIA raised family to. im moving forward in my nursing career and have always felt texas was my true home i needed to be.
how is the medical field out there? how are the school for elemetary and day cares?
the weather? i know this will be a BIG move coming from CALIFORNIA to TEXAS but i can adjust the traffic to me cant be as bad as take a 2 hour trip to San Fransico. stuck in traffice on a bridge (should only take about 45 mins with no traffic. other than the traffic i would liek to know about the night life the shopping housing prices and child friendly things to do. also how is the work field there not just medical field but other fields as well. any suggestions?
#melphix on Mar 19, 2015 :
I stay in chicago bu the cost of living is high here just thinking of relocating to hoston,but how can a job in hoston pays per hour I mean minimum wages pls any help
#Danielle on Jan 09, 2015 :
For those of you looking at moving to Houston: What it costs to live inside the city (Loop 610 on a map) vs outside in a suburb (outside of beltway 8/Sam Houston tollway on a map) is Very different in terms of rent and mortgages. Being outside the city and working in it, will give you traffic headaches. If you have children and do not wish to pay for private school, you will probably think about living in a suburb. There are some good public schools in the city but in order to live within the zone for the better ones, you will pay a higher rent/mortgage etc. If you want a big home for less money, you should choose a suburb. If you want some night life, art, culture, sports... you will want to be in the city or make a 40 minute drive each way (when it isn't time for high traffic). If you want more space between you and your neighbor drive just a few minutes more outside any suburb and you will find it. We do have something for everyone...unless you love snow. Unless you visit and drive around a lot, you can't imagine the size of our "city." It is Massive (but spread out) and growing. We have some pretty areas inside the city, then a ring of ugliness and then another ring of pretty spaces further out. So if you stay on freeways to go everywhere, it is not an attractive looking place.

If you live here, you will want (and need) a car. We have public transportation but it's not a preferred method of travel. We are still a big Oil & Gas industry city. As such, tiny cars are not really a cultural focus. It is not uncommon to see very large trucks, vans and SUVs with only 1 person in each stacked up and down the busiest streets during rush hour traffic. I'm a rare sight in my suburb because I do not own a pick up or an SUV. It is far more common to see 2+ of these vehicles parked at almost every home or in almost every parking spot at the grocery store.

People here are like people everywhere: some are nice and some aren't. For the most part, we're a very live and let live group of people. Our suburbs have many churches. (enough that you could visit a different one each Sunday for over a year) We have mosques. We have parts of town where the street signs are written in multiple languages. We are (generally) conservative in our political views on federal spending. Beyond that, gay, black, white, asian, hispanic, whatever---we tend to live well amongst each other. There is crime. Be mindful of your purse's location. Generally, the crime is linked to drug usage.

Come for the jobs, suffer our humidity and stay for the TexMex food. It's the thing my friends miss most when they leave.
#Terri on Jan 04, 2015 :
I have no idea where all of you people are moving from but I wish you'd stay there. The traffic is absolutely horrible. I shutter when I hear a siren because I know if it's an ambulance they will not be able to move the traffic to get through. What used to take 5 minutes to get to my favorite shopping area now take a good 20 minutes.
The crime in "what I will call East Texas" is horrible. It really began to rise after Katrina and it's been getting worse every since. I actually get tears in my eyes now when I watch the news, it's scary as hell. Do youself a favor, look elsewhere!
A Native Texan
#Kenny on Oct 07, 2014 :
I am intending to enroll for a master program in subsea engineering at Huston at 2015. How fast can I get a sustainable job to support my next semester tuition fee and my welfare?
#Amber R on Jul 22, 2014 :
Im born and raised here in Houston. I love this city. I've been living all over from clear lake to cypress to now Katy. Katy has to be my favorite so far. Great community feel, small but big in its own way. I'm moving to NC soon. I will definitely miss my home town!!
#Akiesta on Jul 19, 2014 :
My family and I are thinking of moving to Houston from MS once I finish OT school. We would like to know what would be a good area to rent a home or apartment near a great middle school and community?
#Andrew on Jul 08, 2014 :
Yay so I got back from Houston and got accepted for a job :-)
Moving there from Australia
Can anyone recommend a nice suburb to move to?
For a young couple about to start a family.
#Elizabeth on May 22, 2014 :
Hi! I am moving to the Kirby area soon in Houston. I only earn 50k a year. Considering living with a flat-mate and sharing utilities/rent etc. I'm single and have no dependents. How much do you think I'll be spending considering I'd go out every weekend to try a different eatery, drive around my paid-off car, go to the gym, eat healthy and basically just maintain a basic lifestyle?
#Sidney on Apr 02, 2014 :
I currently live about 30-45 minutes from downtown Houston. I'd recommend (depending on job market and job location) Pasadena, Deer Park, and Baytown! We are in the process of apartment hunting and so far the average for a 2-3 bedroom has been about $750. My husband is a pipefitter and has had no problem finding jobs in the area and we've been able to take trips, pay off debt, and enjoy many date nights because our cost of living is low! So far the traffic hasn't been horrific either.
#hams on Feb 24, 2014 :
Hi, am gonna move to Houston TX ,i want to ask how much the 1bedroom there & how much i should to have per month to life
#Claudia on Feb 13, 2014 :
Hi,
My company is offering me a relocation to Houston with a local contract. I would like to know how would be the costs for having a car including gas, insurance and other taxes that i should consider.

Also I would like to know how is the costs for living in the Woodlands where my company is located.

Thanks a lot.
#HT on Feb 12, 2014 :
I currently live in houston! Its great. The job market is steady for almost any job and its pretty cheap to live here...
#Ron on Feb 05, 2014 :
How's the car business in Houston. I always here its great but need some reassuring... Any input will do.
#Jose Luna on Feb 03, 2014 :
Me and my family need's to move on to houston tx. (near texas childrens hospital) we are from el paso tx. we need to get a cheap rent apartament and near to elementary school and high school for my 3 kids please make me recomendatios.
thanks
#Albert on Jan 23, 2014 :
Good day any advice from us we are planning to move in houston after 6 months. My wife is working as a staff nurse and i am looking for a job for sterile services job in the hospital. we are coming from united kingdom.
#Willie on Jan 22, 2014 :
Hey guys , I am looking at a job in the Huston area. I am moving from Cleveland Ohio , what can i read to get an overall cost of living index form the city of Huston.
#Nicole on Jan 21, 2014 :
Original post: #mahmoud on Dec 18, 2013 :
Hi guys .
I am moving to houston for an education program. My first visit will be 3.months starting from february. Any clues how much do i need to spend for living during these 3.months considering the minimum of everything ?

I don't know many apartments that rent for 3 months, especially if you're looking for a furnished arrangement. I used to live at the Texas Medical Center at the Camden Vanderbilt, many of my neighbors were patients who flew in for treatments, residents or fellows who were doing their residency - they were paying $3,000/month furnished for a 1 bedroom in 2008 on a month-to-month basis. Rents have gone up SIGNIFICANTLY in the past 3 years and I wouldn't be surprise if it's at least $4,000/month now.
We own a 3 story-3 beds, 3.5 baths, 2 car garage east of downtown and rented our first floor bedroom out to an Exxon Mobil intern last year for $1,200/month for 3 months. We listed on Craigslist. You might get some luck looking for such arrangements on Craigslist (under room wanted section) or airbnb. Ours is not available this year. Good luck.
#Nicole on Jan 21, 2014 :
Original post: #leo on Jan 04, 2014 :
Hi, im from San Diego think about relocating to Houston.my question is with city ( Houston, Austin, or Dallas)is better.

Hi Leo, these 3 cities are very different. I have only been to Dallas for business - expect long commute if you live far from town both in Houston and Austin. Austin's infrastructure can only accommodate 30% of its current population.
-Houston is more diverse, both demographically and economically. Houston also has a larger Asian population as well. It is more humid and also hotter in the summer. Houston has many areas (with no zoning within the 610 loop). You can expect to pay between $1,200-$1,800/month for a nice apartment within the loop. You can find many run-down apartments or (far from town) below $700 but I do not recommend since they might not be safe. There really isn't much in between as developers bought the prime real estate and rebuild them to suit the higher end clienteles.
-Austin is very similar to San Diego, in my opinion. Lot more laid back, lots of hipsters, outdoor activities and the city has a collectic vibe with great music scene. Austin has received a large influx of CA residents in the recent years. Probably 30% of Austinites are less than 25 years old. Most UT graduates want to stay there but since there isn't many jobs available in entry-level positions, they end of being servers (with bad attitude). If you're in the IT sector, apps development or software related, you should be able to find a decent paying job.
-Dallas is just a pretentious city. Let me put this way, if people from San Diego are moving to Austin, Dallas are for the folks from LAs.

Hope this helps.
#leo on Jan 04, 2014 :
Hi, im from San Diego think about relocating to Houston.my question is with city ( Houston, Austin, or Dallas)is better.
#mahmoud on Dec 18, 2013 :
Hi guys .
I am moving to houston for an education program. My first visit will be 3.months starting from february. Any clues how much do i need to spend for living during these 3.months considering the minimum of everything ?
#bob on Nov 18, 2013 :
look into Salt Lake City. the mountains are beautiful, lots of skiing in the winter, summer water sports on the reservoirs, hiking on perhaps a hundred trails, hunting and fishing all over the place. the job market is really good also. quality of life is the best that i have seen. we have a home in greater salt lake as well as houston, tx. Intial home prices in Salt Lake are a bit higher than Houston but our Salt Lake taxes are more than 50% lower. Our insurance is Salt Lake is about one sixth of what they are in Houston. Weather in Houston is Hot and very humid in the summer and mild in the winter. Salt Lake summer weather can be hot but very dry. Salt Lake winters are cold and sometimes snowy.
#Diana on Nov 07, 2013 :
Hi! I'm moving to Houston in a few weeks, I just received a job offer. My new work is located at Richmond Ave. Two questions:

1. Is 55k a good salary to live in Houston?
2. What neighborhoods should I look at to be close to the office (Richmond Ave)?

I am relocating from Puerto Rico, so I need all the help I can get...tx!

:)
#Sara Smith on Oct 21, 2013 :
Hi, we live in Greenville, SC.
It's big enough to have amenities, culture, libraries, etc., but a hometown feel. Cost of living is not much more than Houston, and weather is much more moderate. Those Houston summers are, well, probably like the Aussie outback.
Anyway...maybe, too, you can tell the Progressives here what the results of high taxes, etc. look like!
Sara
#Ruben on Oct 12, 2013 :
Well andrew , I read your standard of living in Australia and I can say that sucks, movingo to houston will be your best option, Houston besides of being a nice place to be it is searching for people to live there as the goverment there is opening new industries, this means that it's a lot of work there! I recommend you to move there. hope this answer has helped u.
#Ema on Oct 10, 2013 :
Hi
I'm new in Houston and I'd like to move around for the day. As I do not have insurance to rent a car (I'm from outside the US), how can I get a cheap taxi that will wait for me for about 6 hours?
#joe antroire on Oct 01, 2013 :
I just move to houston from florida huge difirency talking air pollution
#Richard on Sep 24, 2013 :
I live in east downtown Houston one block from the Astros ballpark. I actuallyelove living here. Houston is the cheapest if not one of the cheapest cities in the states to live in. I once had an apartment on the SE side of town for only $399/mo; my water and lights were never over $100 combined. The only drawback is the cities in Texas are spread out and sometimes there is hella traffic. I'm pretty good at navigating my way around, so this never bothers me. But there are people here from all parts of the world; the food and restaurants are great. I'm sure you'll love it here...
#Salman on Sep 19, 2013 :
The job market is quite steady in Houston especially if youre in the energy sector. Houston is known for its oil and gas industry plenty of jobs there and the its Medical Center. Housing and food is affordable as well. Downsides are you drive a lot, average commute will be atleast 20 minutes. Its a huge city thats spread out and can get very hot and humid. Some areas have poor air quality due to the oil refineries. Other cities near Houston are Dallas and Austin where the tech industry is booming. Hope this helps
#Andrew on Sep 10, 2013 :
Hi,

I'm looking to move to Houston. Whats the job market like?

I work in Australia at the moment but the standard of living is horrible.

Work 50-60 hrs a week. Get stuck in traffic for 3 hours a day.

40% tax. 10% gst. Levy upon levy. you only clear about 40-50% of your pay. 3x1 wood cottage house built in the 50's costs 1+ million.

Zero variety. No shops. Stores close early.

They have started building micro units in our city 6x5 m (270ft2). shared bathroom for $150k no window.

I don't want to live in a country that all it does is take take take.

97% of all developable land is owned by a single land corporation and its subsidiaries. Sickening.

Majority of new homes and builds are now by international Chinese investors.

We don't even own the land we were born to...

Screw Australia which is why we are looking into which city to move to in the US.

Any other cities that are nice?