Why I Moved to Houston, Texas
The short answer is "the people are great here and I love the vibe." This long answer is …
I moved to Houston for cheap real estate. After selling my home in Pasadena, California, I used my equity to buy the home I’ve always wanted with an all-cash offer. No more mortgage.
More importantly, it has 8 bathrooms so I can poop in a different bathroom every day each week and never poop in the same bathroom twice. And that's super important. Not really.
California living is expensive, and taxes are crazy. Texas is cheap by comparison. Looking at both income and expenses, Houston is a bargain location.
I picked Houston because it’s a major metro with a huge population (6.3M) and potential client base, real estate is more affordable than similar cities, my sister lives in the Woodlands, and I'm familiar with Houston as I’ve done business here with companies and school districts for 20+ years.
I looked at other cities around the USA (and Canada) but I didn't want to live in a desert city, a city where it snows, a city that wasn’t diverse, or a city on a coast. And I wanted a big house in a nice neighborhood. Those considerations knocked out many potential destinations.
I looked hard at Austin and shopped houses there, but the cost of living, housing prices, and property taxes are on the rise because of tech jobs recently added by Facebook, Google, and Apple. My dollar wouldn't go as far as there as it did in Houston. I didn’t choose Dallas because I felt Dallas folks were generally more conservative than Houston folks.
I bought on the far-east outskirts of Houston in a city called Katy instead of "inside the loop" because my dollar goes farther in the suburbs. More importantly, I found a great house that I loved. I had looked at 40+ houses over 1.5 days before settling on the one I purchased.
I wanted relatively new construction, but I didn’t want to live in a gentrified neighborhood that was only half gentrified. Plus, I didn’t want a condo, townhome, or patio home. I also required a tax rate under 3%, an annual association fee under $1000, and a location outside all flood zones—including the 500-year zone.
I own a software firm and my team works remotely so my physical location doesn’t matter for that company. For my photography business, I often work on-location and also leased a downtown Houston studio. I spend most of my time working from home and only commute for photography jobs 2-3 times a week. And since I typically suggest ideal times based on commute and distance, that isn’t as big a deal as it might be otherwise.