You have probably heard the phrase “Are you in the loop?” before, but in Houston it means something entirely different. In Houston, being in the loop means you are literally inside the 610 loop surrounding the city. You are either ‘inside the loop’ or ‘outside the loop.’ Inside the loop is the downtown area, with excellent restaurants, nightlife and lots activities. It is more expensive to live in the loop because the cost of real estate is higher.
Houston is one of the fastest growing cities in the United States, with 35,000 people moving there in 2013. The economy in Houston is healthy. From 2009-2012, the city grew 3x faster than LA and 2x faster than Chicago. The strong economy created a hiring spree boosting the employment rate to an all-time high. All of this means Houston is a great place to make money, but it also has a low cost of living allowing your paycheck to stretch further than anywhere else. Did you know median earners spend nearly 2x more of their income on rent in LA than they do in Houston? You can reduce your living expenses even more by finding a roommate in Houston.
The first step in finding a roommate is determining where you want to live. There is no shortage of great places to live in Houston. Have you ever considered living downtown? The downtown revitalization has been an enormous success with a vibrant nightlife and plenty of entertainment. It is also Houston’s Central Business District with more than 3,500 companies. If you work downtown, it might be the perfect place for you and you don’t have to join the 150,000+ people who commute downtown every day.
If downtown isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other great places to live like Southside Place, West University, Spring Valley Village and Bellaire. All of these locations are less than 10 miles away from downtown. Commuting in Houston isn’t nearly as bad as many big cities. In fact, Houston ranks 20th in the US for the worst traffic. So proximity to work might not be as important to you in Houston as it is in other major cities.
Once you have picked some areas to live, it is always a good idea to ask family and friends for some roommate recommendations. If that doesn’t work out, searching online is a popular way to find a roommate. Craigslist is a common place people use to find a roommate, but it can be a bit sketchy, thankfully there are many alternative websites dedicated to helping you find the best person for you. Roommate searching sites like roomster even have verified members with links to their social profiles so you can get a good idea who the person is, who their friends are and much more.
Once you narrow down the list, you are going to want to meet in person before making a commitment. Choose somewhere in public and bring a friend if you feel uncomfortable or just want a second opinion.
Once you find the right person, prepare a roommate agreement to determine what your responsibilities are. This includes things like cooking, cleaning, groceries, etc. A vague roommate agreement may lead to problems later on, so be specific. Don’t forget it is hot in Houston, so the figuring out who is paying the AC bill is a must!
So now you are in the loop. Houston an excellent and affordable place to live with a booming economy. Start your Houston roommate search today.