This past year and a half has been a crazy ride for the entire world, especially anyone looking for affordable, good-quality housing. TLiving in the South isn’t like living anywhere else in the world. With so much great food, live music, and incredible attractions, it seems like everyone wants to get in on the fun.

All of that goes double for Houston, Texas, one of the most popular cities in the southern United States. In recent years, the population has seen steady growth, with thousands of fresh -faced transplants settling down in H-Town every year.

Finding good housing in Houston can be tricky, however. There’s only so Texas to go around, after all, and everyone who moves here seems to want a piece of property they can call their own. Buying a house isn’t the only option, though. If you’re more interested in the Houston lifestyle than the allure of homeownership, there are plenty of apartments and houses for rent in Houston, TX.

Still not convinced an H-Town rental is for you? Here’s why you should give it a shot…

Renting vs. Buying

These days it’s a seller’s market, which means that prices are high and inventory is low. This is unfortunately as true in Houston as it is anywhere else, with the COVID-19 pandemic causing a steady increase in housing prices across the board.

That said, renters in H-Town have a decided advantage over those looking to buy. Renting a home for about 4-5 years at an average rent price of $1,200 is still far less than the cost of homeownership for the same amount of time, with many local mortgages costing two or even three times that much per payment!

On top of that, renting offers other advantages over buying. Hate doing repairs and menial maintenance? If you rent, all that stuff is the responsibility of your landlord, not you. Want to have the freedom to move at a moment’s notice? Breaking a lease isn’t always easy, but getting out of a mortgage is literally impossible. Unless you’re looking to settle down and start a family, or become a landlord yourself, the decision really is a no-brainer.

Houston vs. the World

Sky-is-falling alarmists in the real estate market are sometimes quick to point out that Houston’s average monthly rent has gone up at the same time that rent in similarly sized metropolises like San Francisco and New York City have actually seen rent prices fall. Don’t pack your bags just yet, though, because while that may be true, it doesn’t really show you the whole picture. 

Yes, H-Town rent prices are rising. And, yes, NYC and San Fran rent prices are dropping. But that hardly matters when you consider the fact that Houston rentals are still significantly cheaper than in both of those cities. Remember that estimated $1,200 H-Town rental mentioned above? Compare that to comparable properties in NYC and San Fran, and you could find yourself shelling out amounts in the $3,000-$4,000 range.

What’s more, Houston rental prices have consistently been lower than the national average rent, which currently skews closer to $1,500, meaning that you’ll have a hard time finding cheaper housing anywhere in the country.

Big vs. Small

Saving money is always a good thing, unless it comes at the cost of getting less bang for your buck. In real estate, that means less space. Rentals in NYC and San Fran are notoriously tiny, so if the ones in Houston cost less, that must mean they’re even tinier, right?

Wrong! You know that saying about how everything is bigger in Texas? Believe it or not, it’s true, and it’s not just referring to ten-gallon hats and belt buckles. Houston boasts an average apartment size of around 900 square feet. Compare that to the average size of 700 square feet in San Fran and a measly 500 square feet in NYC, and that means you’re paying half the price for an apartment almost twice as large.

Driving vs. Riding

Since we’re on the subject of comparing Houston to its coastal cousins, let’s talk about transportation and another advantage H-Town renters have over those living elsewhere.

It’s a popular truism that, when moving to a big city, you have to be prepared to kiss driving your own car goodbye. Most major cities pack so many people into such a tiny amount of space, that traffic jams quickly become as constant as they are inevitable. If your home and your workplace aren’t within walking distance of each other, then that means you have to rely on public transportation in the form of subways, buses, taxis, and similar options.

Let’s just admit: public transportation sucks. Not just in NYC and San Fran, but everywhere. Yes, even in Houston. It’s uncomfortable, chaotic, inconvenient, and overpriced. Luckily, in H-Town size matters not just when it comes to apartment size, but the size of the city itself. The total area of Houston is 669 square miles, a big jump from the 302 square miles of NYC and the 46 square miles of San Fran.

You might think that makes getting around H-Town harder, but it actually makes it a whole lot easier, as the extra space means less congestion. Add to that the city’s lower-than-average gas prices, and it makes for a rare big city where you can actually enjoy a nice, relaxing drive.

More Reasons Why Houston is Awesome…

  • The restaurants are incredible, boasting a wide range of culinary creations, from classic smokey barbecue and spicy Tex-Mex to gourmet cuisine and innovative international fusions.
  • It’s the world capital of space exploration, being the site of NASA Mission Control Center, where the oft-repeated catchphrase “Houston, we have a problem” was born.
  • The city takes the safety and well-being of its citizens very seriously, to the point where Houston’s Texas Medical Center has gone on to become the largest medical center of the world, encompassing 21 hospitals, eight research centers, and 50 other associated medical organizations.