How much does it take to live comfortably in Houston?

Photo of downtown Houston.

So if you want to know how much money you need to make to be happy in Houston? Well there's a lot to consider before thinking about moving to the Bayou City. 

A report completed by, said "Before you wholeheartedly consider a move to Houston, it would be wise to have a general understanding of the city's overall cost of living."

So let's take a look!


Home prices in the Houston area are on the rise and according to the latest U.S. Census, the home ownership rate is just 42.9%. That means that more than half of the population are renters. 

According to the report, Austin has a $578,000 median price, Dallas has a $405,000 median price compared to Houston's $315,000 mark. 


If you're not looking at purchasing or leasing a house, you'll be looking to rent. 

Currently, according to the report, the average rent in Houston is $1,304 per month while the national average rent is $1,706. 

The report stated that rental rates have increased by 19% over the last year. 

If you're looking to get a studio near downtown Houston, you'll be paying a little bit more at around $1,500 per month. 



So you've found your place to stay, so what's next? Oh, yeah! Gotta have those utilities. 

The report stated that a basic utility package for an apartment in Houston will cost you $211.55 a month. That includes electricity, heating, internet, water and garbage. Utilities can vary slightly based on where you live and what has been included with your rent if anything.


Now that you've got your utilities hooked up, it's time to take a break and get your grub on! We'll food costs can vary, according to the report. 

The average cost for food in the Houston area is $28 per day per person if you're eating out frequently. Dining out for a single meal in the area will cost you around $11 per person. 

Looking to make your own food? According to MIT’s Living Wage Calculator, a single adult with no children in Harris County has typical annual food expenses of $2,994. For a married couple with two kids, that estimate jumps to $8,822.


There are several ways in which you can get around the Houston-area. One option is the Houston METRO as a 30-day pass on the public transportation system will cost you $90.  But just know as Houston is a driving city, with the average commute time passing the hour mark. 

One way you can get around using the METRO and if you have your own vehicle is to consider using the HOV lanes, and you can beat some of the traffic. Another thing, if you use the HOV lane, your passengers will get a free ride. 


There's nothing like having to pay taxes and Texas does have a sales tax of 8.25% when you combine state, county and city rates. 

However, the state of Texas doesn't have a state income tax and neither does Harris County, which is where the city of Houston is. 

As far as property taxes, the report says the average effective property tax rate for Harris County is 2.03%. While it’s common to have higher property taxes in places that don’t charge an income tax, Houston residents pay a property tax that’s almost double the national average. It incorporates the county tax, the Houston city rate and the Houston School District rate.


The City of Houston has so much entertainment options! Whether it's hitting up a Houston Astros game, going to Space Center Houston, or going to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. There's plenty to do if you want to get out of the house. 

One thing you can consider using to save a little money is the Houston CityPASS. The ticket will serve for five Houston attractions. Those locations include: 

- Houston Space Center

- Downtown Aquarium

- Houston Museum of Natural Science

- Houston Zoo or Houston Museum of Fine Arts

- Kemah Boardwalk or Children’s Museum of Houston

Looking for some sports fun! There's lots of that!

Here are the average ticket prices to see each of these teams:

- Houston Astros (MLB): $54

- Houston Rockets (NBA): $61

- Houston Texans (NFL): $142

- Houston Dynamo (MLS): $45

What about the city’s most famous attraction, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo? The cheapest RodeoHouston tickets go for $20, but the average cost for a ticket is $85.


Looking to make the big move to the Space City/Bayou City, there's just lots to consider, so be sure to think about your individual situation and whether Houston's cost of living fits in your financial plan.