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Anyone live, or lived, in Houston, Texas?

(43 Posts)
EthelredOnAGoodDay Thu 23-Jun-11 13:50:12

There is potential through DH's work for him to have a two year secondment to Houston. Don't know anything about it, haven't even been to the USA, but interested because it seems the 'right time' IYKWIM. I am interested to hear from anyone who knows anything about the place!!! Anything at all!!! grin

EthelredOnAGoodDay Thu 23-Jun-11 14:18:51


swanker Thu 23-Jun-11 14:21:09

Isn't expat from Houston?

EthelredOnAGoodDay Thu 23-Jun-11 16:06:57

Ooh don't know. Hoping someone will reply!

ThePrincessRoyalFiggyrolls Thu 23-Jun-11 16:09:52

I know someone who has recently been sent out there and is having a ball!

EthelredOnAGoodDay Thu 23-Jun-11 16:19:47

I suppose what I want to know really is what it's like for families with small children. We have DD 18 months and currently I work PT, but if we went out there I think I would be a SAHM. Obviously, am a bit apprehensive about meeting people and also about what the area in itself is like. The only thing I have been told so far by people who have visited is that it is hot! grin

JasHands Thu 23-Jun-11 16:24:57

One of my relatives moved to Houston about 2001 and lived there for 2 or 3 years. She loved it, she had a baby at the time and her social life was great.

I've never got nearer Houston than Dallas (so not near at all). I worked in Corpus Christi ages ago - looked nice but was the arse end of nowhere.

expatinscotland Thu 23-Jun-11 16:38:18

I'm from there. Loads of great stuff to do, activities, family-friendly malls/restaurants.

My folks still live there. They bought their home in 1972 in an area that has since appreciated in value quite notably.

My sister lives in Galveston County, however. And has done so since the early 90s.

Many people privately educate their children when it comes to secondary or high school, which starts in 10th grade/age 14, and some for primary as well (there are quite a few faith schools that go from K-12 so your child has continuity). I opted to go to a state high school, although I was privately-educated before that and my sister went to the same school all the way through.

Any type of faith school there is fee-paying, though, so that's one difference.

If your husband gets a really good relocation package (most do), it can be a good place because the cost of living compared to here is absurdly cheap.

expatinscotland Thu 23-Jun-11 16:39:22

It is very hot. It can also be quite dry or have a large amount of rain in a small time.

I can't think of any place you'd be living, however, that doesn't have central air-conditioning.

Your car, your house, all shops.

expatinscotland Thu 23-Jun-11 16:43:30

Truth be told, if it were only for 2 years and it involved a really good salary AND health insurance, I'd go myself.

EthelredOnAGoodDay Thu 23-Jun-11 16:44:50

Thanks expat and jas. Useful to know. If we do go, it's likely to only be for a couple of years as is related to a particular project that DH is working on. Am quite excited about the whole thing, but also of course quite daunted as well. At the moment we are making enquiries into what package DH would get and also whether or not his work would be willing to fund an investigative trip for us over there. I will do a bit of research on the www too. Thanks again.

expatinscotland Thu 23-Jun-11 16:46:18

Wait till you see how cheap the housing is compared to here grin.

EthelredOnAGoodDay Thu 23-Jun-11 16:54:47

Now that does sound good. We currently live in a fairly pricey area (albeit ooop north) so would be nice to find somewhere nice to live that doesn't require online selling of a body part! grin. Do many houses have pools?

VivaLeBeaver Thu 23-Jun-11 16:56:55

My DH worked out there for a few months. Said there were lots of armadillos.

TimeWasting Thu 23-Jun-11 17:02:29

It's a long time ago and I was a kid, but it's really hot. And beautiful.
You must be able to drive and have a car, you can't walk anywhere.
The wildlife is different, snakes and fire ants to learn about. When we moved back to the UK, Mum only had to warn me about nettles, it's quite different. grin
You'll need health insurance of course.
You mustn't blaspheme. Can't say 'For Christs sake!' or even 'Oh my God!' so if you do, get out of the habit now. grin

Aw, getting all nostalgic now! the zoo was fab back then and the museum.

EthelredOnAGoodDay Thu 23-Jun-11 17:10:25

Snakes, eeek!! Good tip on the blasphemy as well thanks. Both DH and I are potty mouths have wide and descriptive vocabularies!! wink

expatinscotland Thu 23-Jun-11 17:42:03

It's very uncommon to find snakes in urban areas.

No, most houses do not have pools, although some do, of course.

TimeWasting Thu 23-Jun-11 18:05:54

I think the area we lived in was very new build reclaimed from the desert. Don't remember seeing a snake tbh, just knew to be wary, but there were lots and lots of lizards, frogs and the fire ants are nasty.

expatinscotland Thu 23-Jun-11 18:41:54

A lot of people live outside Houston itself, in the Houston Metro area. Many commute would be considered staggering distances to get to work daily. There are an incredible number of cars on gigantic motorways and the traffic is nonstop. People live out and commute in usually because of schools, HISD (Houston Idependent School District) isn't without its problems.

You must drive everywhere, but the driving test is a joke and everyone drives automatic cars and parking is a cinch.

I'm always shocked when I go back and drive one of my mother's or sister's land yachts.

EthelredOnAGoodDay Thu 23-Jun-11 19:06:25

Ah I do drive so that's good news. Not sure how I'd cope driving on the other side though, I have no sense of direction as it is!! have just ordered a guide book from amazon so that should be useful.

NolaDarling Thu 23-Jun-11 19:14:26

I lived in Houston for 12 years before moving to France. Everything about Houston depends on where you live, really. There's plenty to do is all parts - but can be drastically different lifestyle, depending on where in Houston you live.

the poster previously known as venni

expatinscotland Thu 23-Jun-11 20:15:35

Yep. I grew up in the West U area, was born there in fact (well, was actually born at Hermann Hospital). Made it handy for doing a lot of stuff. Folks still live in the same house and, at certain times of the year we can walk around, yes, on pavement, in a shopping area and have coffee, lunch, etc. Farther out, I can't really speak to that because I never lived any place else there.

Portofino Thu 23-Jun-11 21:04:43

I have friends who live in Austin and we've been a few times. I love Texas. You have to drive everywhere, yes. Property seems cheap in comparison to UK. The service and friendliness of people/waiters/shop assitants etc blows me away. I would say I would live in Texas but not in NY.

EthelredOnAGoodDay Thu 23-Jun-11 21:33:12

Lots of great info, thank you all!

MilaMae Fri 24-Jun-11 14:57:03

Dp is going to kill me.

He saw some really good jobs with visas in Houston and Austin and I talked him out of it.Saw some city reviews that scared me a tad also was thinking of hurricanes, admittedly it was only after looking at an Atlas and seeing the proximity to New Orleans.I know absolutely zilch about the area so should have researched a bit further.

Expat how regular is scary weather there?I'm wondering why they have a shortage of IT personnel,was wondering if it was due to hurricanes.

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