Accommodation in Houston
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Expats looking for accommodation in Houston will find they have a number of varied, but affordable, options. Despite being one of the USA's largest cities, Houston's housing market doesn’t mirror the astronomical prices found in places like New York, Los Angeles or Chicago.
Housing availability isn't an issue either. Demand for rentals has increased over the past few years, but there are enough apartments and houses in Houston to ensure that expats should be able to find something that suits them.
Although expats can both buy and rent property in Houston, most new arrivals rent while they get acquainted with the Bayou City's many neighbourhoods.
Each area of Houston has its own pros and cons, and many are associated with specific styles of housing. Proximity to the workplace and schools in Houston should also be considered when choosing a place to put down roots. Rush-hour traffic can be treacherous and students attend public schools based on catchment zones, so parents often look in the areas around good schools.
Finding rental properties in Houston
After picking an area to live in, finding a rental property in Houston is a matter of looking through listings, attending viewings and applying for tenancy. With its robust rental market, many realtors in Houston have departments that cater to the letting population. Expats can consult one of these professionals or choose to look for a place on their own.
Many locals insist that newspapers are still the best place to find rentals and it’s also worth looking at online listings since they’re updated regularly.
Expats shouldn’t count out driving through an area either, since sale and rental signs constantly materialise on front lawns and in front of apartment buildings. This is often the best way to find a property which hasn’t yet made it onto formal listings.
As with elsewhere in the USA, leases in Houston are typically for 12 months. Deposits are generally required, but vary in amount. Credit checks may be conducted, depending on the landlord or letting agency.
Renting property in Houston
With countless apartments, gated communities and near-town bungalows, expats have ample opportunity to find a property to rent in Houston that suits their budget and priorities. They can also save money by looking for sub-letting options and negotiating leases for larger family homes.
Furnished and unfurnished accommodation is available, but in both cases, basic fittings like light fixtures, blinds and some white label appliances (such as a stove, refrigerator or washing machine) are often included.