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  • Writer's pictureAmanda Blanch

Why Houston?

If you read my Bio, you know I was born and raised here but one thing I didn't clearly explain before - I dragged a non-Texan back to Houston with me in 2015.

If you're surprised; don't be. It's kinda what we do around here. We run off, explore the world for a little while, meet some super sweet northern (he'd argue he's from the South) and then we convert them to a full on Texan before they know what's hit them.

When Nick and I decided on Houston there were a few goals we were trying to accomplish and in doing so, I told him 4 Truths about Houston. Three of which turned out to be lies, kind of.

1. People here are SO NICE! This is super true and also a super lie all at the same time. We are nice except for when we're driving. Houstonians on average spend about 27 minutes commuting one way to work every day. That's a long time sitting in traffic on Loop 610. So if you see me driving, I'm sorry in advance for the few choice words I directed at the little old lady driving 10 under the speed limit in the left lane during rush hour.

2. Jobs are plentiful. This is still pretty true, despite the oil and gas downturn in late 2015. Since January 2017, when our unemployment rate peaked at 5.8% in Houston, we have rebounded at an astounding rate - all the way back to 4.2% unemployment rate as of May of this year. That's a drop of 1.6% in only 14 months! Resilient - something I've always loved out Houston!

3. It's so cheap to live here. Okay this is one of those "half lies". I told Nick about this when we were first dating and living in Boston. In comparison, eight years ago, it was the absolute truth. But, to those of us who are from here when you look at how much things cost today we still have a little sticker shock, because life is definitely more expensive than it used to be.

If you're relocating to Houston for any other major metro area, you're in luck, it's still much cheaper to live here than where you're coming from. According to NerdWallet it would cost you annually $114,000 in New York, $71,000 in Los Angeles, and $63,000 in Chicago, respectively, to live the same quality life $50,000 would afford you in Houston. Cha-CHING!

4. Traffic isn't that bad. Okay, this is a straight LIE. Sorry Nick, I didn't know how much things had changed when I told you this. Again, I moved away for the better part of a decade. When I left my home town still only had roughly 50,000 residents - now League City is BOOMING at over 120,000 in population and still growing. For most of my life Houston always did a great job of staying ahead of the need and building freeways before people needed them but when over 200,000 people move to a city (not to count the numerous suburbs) in 7 years, it's a little hard for city planners and TXDoT to stay ahead of that kind of growth.

All in all, despite my lies, Houston has been a great home to us. Every day is an adventure and we're constantly surprised by the amazing contributions this city is making to our world. If you get a chance to stop in or are considering a move, I'd love to tell you more about why I love Houston!

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