Cost of Living in Houston

Summary about cost of living in Houston:

Restaurants [ Edit ] Range
Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant 15.00 $ 10.00-16.00
Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course 60.00 $ 42.50-73.00
McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal) 7.80 $ 7.00-9.00
Domestic Beer (1 pint draught) 5.00 $ 4.00-6.00
Imported Beer (12 oz small bottle) 6.00 $ 5.00-8.00
Cappuccino (regular) 4.35 $ 3.25-5.00
Coke/Pepsi (12 oz small bottle) 1.76 $ 1.25-2.50
Water (12 oz small bottle) 1.37 $ 1.00-2.00
Markets [ Edit ]
Milk (regular), (1 gallon) 3.03 $ 1.99-4.50
Loaf of Fresh White Bread (1 lb) 1.98 $ 1.00-2.75
Rice (white), (1 lb) 1.46 $ 0.80-3.00
Eggs (regular) (12) 2.24 $ 1.29-3.00
Local Cheese (1 lb) 4.55 $ 3.00-7.00
Chicken Breasts (Boneless, Skinless), (1 lb) 3.40 $ 1.99-5.00
Beef Round (1 lb) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat) 4.88 $ 2.99-7.00
Apples (1 lb) 1.36 $ 0.54-2.00
Banana (1 lb) 0.50 $ 0.40-0.75
Oranges (1 lb) 1.62 $ 0.80-3.50
Tomato (1 lb) 1.00 $ 0.80-1.85
Potato (1 lb) 0.92 $ 0.60-2.00
Onion (1 lb) 0.70 $ 0.50-0.98
Lettuce (1 head) 1.15 $ 0.99-1.99
Water (1.5 liter bottle) 1.63 $ 0.89-2.50
Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) 13.00 $ 8.50-18.00
Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle) 2.42 $ 1.50-3.25
Imported Beer (12 oz small bottle) 3.02 $ 2.00-4.00
Cigarettes 20 Pack (Marlboro) 7.00 $ 6.00-8.00
Transportation [ Edit ]
One-way Ticket (Local Transport) 1.25 $ 1.25-2.00
Monthly Pass (Regular Price) 46.75 $ 35.00-90.00
Taxi Start (Normal Tariff) 2.88 $ 2.50-5.00
Taxi 1 mile (Normal Tariff) 2.20 $ 2.00-4.00
Taxi 1hour Waiting (Normal Tariff) 24.00 $ 24.00-25.00
Gasoline (1 gallon) 2.54 $ 2.30-2.80
Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car) 20,000.00 $ 18,500.00-25,000.00
Toyota Corolla 1.6l 97kW Comfort (Or Equivalent New Car) 19,478.91 $ 17,000.00-25,000.00
Utilities (Monthly) [ Edit ]
Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 915 sq ft Apartment 147.47 $ 85.00-235.27
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local (No Discounts or Plans) 0.13 $ 0.05-0.23
Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) 58.43 $ 40.00-80.00
Sports And Leisure [ Edit ]
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult 33.91 $ 20.00-50.00
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend) 11.61 $ 0.00-25.00
Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat 10.75 $ 8.00-12.00
Childcare [ Edit ]
Preschool (or Kindergarten), Full Day, Private, Monthly for 1 Child 862.00 $ 500.00-1,200.00
International Primary School, Yearly for 1 Child 20,466.67 $ 14,000.00-27,000.00
Clothing And Shoes [ Edit ]
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Similar) 40.06 $ 29.00-50.00
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, H&M, ...) 35.97 $ 20.00-55.99
1 Pair of Nike Running Shoes (Mid-Range) 71.61 $ 50.00-100.00
1 Pair of Men Leather Business Shoes 93.45 $ 65.00-130.00
Rent Per Month [ Edit ]
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre 1,346.28 $ 1,000.00-1,750.00
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre 892.03 $ 750.00-1,100.00
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre 2,508.94 $ 1,800.00-3,500.00
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre 1,617.71 $ 1,200.00-2,000.00
Buy Apartment Price [ Edit ]
Price per Square Feet to Buy Apartment in City Centre 194.56 $ 130.00-300.00
Price per Square Feet to Buy Apartment Outside of Centre 99.71 $ 74.32-120.00
Salaries And Financing [ Edit ]
Average Monthly Net Salary (After Tax) 3,589.62 $
Mortgage Interest Rate in Percentages (%), Yearly, for 20 Years Fixed-Rate 4.15 3.50-5.00

Prices in Houston, Texas

These data are based on 2469 entries in the past 18 months from 338 different contributors.
Last update: November 2018
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31 Comments so far

#Richard Andersson on Oct 08, 2018 :
Honestly, the locals brag that they are the friendliest people, but they really are huge racist backstabbers. For example, I personally had a conversation with some neighbors that believe that Mexicans and Muslims are taking over America with their "****** culture." I felt bewildered, yet I couldn't utter a response as I was in disbelief. These people also have a low opinion on Blacks and Jews. How can people think like that and not feel shame?
#Richard Andersson on Oct 08, 2018 :
It was a mistake to move to Houston. We were lured by a great job offer, but we didn't know that we traded it in for a pathetic quality of life.

Frequent floods, stifling humidity and heat, dearth of natural beauty, traffic becoming less predictable, high crime, angry racist Bible-thumping locals, ignorance of anything outside a 2-hour radius of Houston. Frankly, I am just sick of it.
#Michael McClure on Sep 08, 2018 :
#Stan, since you are ex-law enforcement then you know that Houston is the biggest port for Human Trafficking in the world. As far as the Hispanic and Mexican Gangs in Houston; read this article
#Michael McClure on Sep 08, 2018 :
#Andrew is a fucking Moron, soy boy, basement Dwelling, mentally sick individual who hasn't had a woman, since a woman had him. Move to Venezuela, Frace,Germany, hell even Sweden and get a true taste of open boarders, gang rapes, the killing of gays and soy boys like yourself
#David on Dec 16, 2017 :
"most of the suburbs are God fearing hard working families" VERY FUNNY.

The people in the Houston suburbs are the most vile, lazy-minded, people I encountered. Rubbish rednecks, the lot of them. Certainly not as tolerant as us Brits, who do have problems with race relations in Britain, if I'm being honest. But certainly not as much as the outskirts of Houston. They really hate anyone who is not an "evangelical" Christian.
#Melissa on Nov 17, 2017 :
I've lived in Houston all my life, not in the City limits but the county. will show you the amount of crime in Houston. The inner city is like any other inner city. There are gangs in certain areas like south Houston but they don't run the city. You just don't go to certain parts of the city at night alone.
The cost of a home is not $200-300k unless you live in a gated community and a suburb. Shop around and there are still houses going from $150 in nice places. The ones that weren't flooded are increasing though but that is likely temporary.
The worst part of Houston is the traffic because people from other states are moving here and don't know how to drive. The second worst is the HEAT. There truly is no white Christmases in Houston.
The best schools are Katy ISD and Tomball ISD and Conroe ISD to the north of Harris County.
There are teaching jobs that start at $45k-$50k depending on the school district but that counteracts with ridiculous cost of health insurance. Police start at about $50k. We have a state of the art medical center south of downtown and hospitals that are moving out into the suburbs that offer lots of jobs too.
We are not a biking or walking friendly city, except downtown because Houston is about 80 miles across so everyone needs a car. Public transit is scary and doesn't really work for suburbians unless you are going from your suburb to downtown. Streets are for cars, parks are for walkers and bikers. There are lots of free parks but free means overcrowded.
Inside Houston is liberal, sad to say but most of the suburbs are God fearing hard working families. The saying God & country, that's us.
Entertainment is all over the place. So many concert venues from symphony to Broadway to yes, country music night clubs. We have a museum district near the Houston Zoo near the medical center. Most of the formal concert halls are downtown but all types of night clubs are in the city in the suburbs. There are restaurants galore for every type of cuisine you can imagine: Mexican, Chinese, Italian, Middle Eastern, Greek, vegan, soul food and of course we love our steaks and seafood/crawfish. Prices range based on what you get and where. A family of 5 can eat for about $70. Steaks & seafood are more expensive, about $20 a plate.
We are in the Bible belt so most schools teach abstinence and we don't do the men in women's restrooms/showers things. There are a lot of sex offenders here but no worse than any other city. The further out you live the better it is but more costly. We live to the north of Houston in Montgomery County and there is significantly less crime. We bought a 1995 home last year for $180k,3 bedroom we turned into 5, 2300 sq. feet in well rated Conroe ISD. We are 4 miles from the Woodlands Mall, medical centers, Cynthia Wood Pavilion (outdoor concert venue), and tons of places to eat & play.
If I gave Houston, the city, a grade it would be about a 60.
But the suburbs of Houston and surrounding counties, I would rate a 90.
#Stan S. on Jul 24, 2017 :
I just want to leave a small comment. I moved to Houston recently and in my perspective, Houston is very safe and cheap to live in. I don't know what people are talking about ghetto and gangs for. I ve lived in NY, Chicage, San Fransisco and Florida. Houston is so lax compared to any of these other cities. I would describe Houston as almost country like. There is no real hood, projects or Ghetto here. I know people try to exaggerate where they are from, but I don't agree with them. Mexican gangs don't run wild in the streets of Houston lol .... that sounds like racist bullshit. I am an ex law enforcement officer and I rank Houston as one of the safest cities I ve been to. To my surprise I ve found a lot of hard working family oriented Mexicans or latinos in general living here. From what I was told they are filthy nasty people who only steal, rape and do drugs. If I listed to people like JOhn J and DK Texas I wouldn't have moved to Houston. But I think they say these things on prupose to keep people from moving here and experiencing a nice way of life. If you like to live in a big city with a feel of suburbia and a touch of rural life, then come down to Houston and don't listen to them assholes.
#DKTexas on Jun 28, 2017 :
The people in Houston are very nice. Unfortunately Houston is a huge ghetto with a couple of great neighborhoods in between. Mexican gangs have moved in to the area and have already murdered some high school boys and girls who, due to the Narcos culture, think gangs are cool. Human trafficking is rampant here, Sex for sale everywhere, in every neighborhood- how many cheap hotels and massage parlors does a city need? And everyone looks the other way.

Drivers on the highway are out of control. Road rage and drivers shooting people -as they are driving- is not an unheard situation.

Poverty and all that comes with it -is about 70% of Houston. Before coming watch the local Houston news on your computer.

I used to love it until I came out of my bubble. Now it is disturbing.

I have had great experiences with Mexican people- legal-illegal- who cares. Most family oriented people want to work and provide a better life for their families. I can respect that in all people. It's the filth and illegal activity that gets to me.

So if you can find a bubble for your family- just stay inside - don't look out.
#Ken Chiang on May 28, 2017 :
Also, proceed with caution when whites here in Houston say that they aren't racist at all or that racism doesn't exist, because it won't be long before they start ranting against illegal Mexicans, Black Lives Matter activists, and "Radical Islam." Even worse is when they keep saying that blacks are racist but not whites; they always deny their flawed racial thinking.

I seriously want to fly away from here. Some locals can call me Yankee and Ching Chang Chong all they want, but it won't change their old-fashioned racist ways.
#YB on Mar 30, 2017 :
Whats the salary TAX structure there in Houston, Texas? I heard that the tax structure go upto 8 %. And will this include the Federal TAX or FICA ?
#Rob on Feb 01, 2017 :
You can have my spot. I'm getting out of here before the whole place turns upside down with crime, racism, low test scores, smog, carcinogens etc...

However, if you like taxes, you'll love Texas!
#Anonymous :) on Feb 01, 2017 :
Houston is a great city. Job openings are everywhere you go. The only thing I hate about Houston is the traffic and 290. I feel like they have been working on 290 for 20 years. There are so many things you can do in Houston and there are a surplus of bars and nightclubs. Houston is also fairly inexpensive to live in. I would say it is best to be making a minimum of at least $25,000.00 year to live on your own and you can make much less if you have roommates. I am glad I moved here when I was 3. I wouldn't want to move anywhere else.
#Jacques Prudent Elong on Jan 04, 2017 :
Hello Houstonians , i'm very impressived by your big & beautiful City ...I'm planing to join the US but i did not know which city i could settle in once i made research i found but Houston is the best for me that is why i have decided to know more and more about Houston that must become my new home place as i'm coming from Cameroon in Central Africa ...

Thank for all your efforts made to keep that city a very welcoming place for the world ...


#Jacques Prudent Elong on Jan 04, 2017 :
Hello Houstonians , i'm very impressived by your big & beautiful City ...I'm planing to join the US but i did not know which city i could settle in once i made research i found but Houston is the best for me that is why i have decided to know more and more about Houston that must become my new home place as i'm coming from Cameroon in Central Africa ...

Thank for all your efforts made to keep that city a very welcoming place for the world ...


#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 $800-$ 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

#Ekhwan on Mar 01, 2016 :

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