Best Places to Live

Houston, TX

Population: 2,217,706

Name: Alex, marketing communications professional

How long did you live in LA? Born and raised there, but then moved to go to school in NYC in 1995. I went back to LA in 2012 and left in 2017.

Where did you move? Houston, Texas

Why did you leave LA?

The job market wasn’t really working for me — I was the only social media manager in LA that couldn’t find a job! My wife is from Houston, so we decided to move here because it had better job prospects, and she wanted to go back home for a little bit. 

What's the difference in your rent/mortgage payment in LA vs. Houston? 

Oh, it’s night and day. I used to live in a one-bedroom in Northridge (up the 405 from Westwood about 45 to 60 minutes, depending on traffic) for $1,800. Here, we live in a brand new two-bedroom townhome close to work for $1,200! 

How did leaving LA affect your career/creative life? 

For the positive. I work in the oil/gas field, writing in one of their marketing and communication shops. It’s far from the magazine and blog circles I used to work in, but I don’t have to worry about whether or not my job will be there at the end of the day. 

What's something creative you've been able to pursue in Houston that may not have happened in LA? 

I’ve begun writing screenplays and watching old movies again during my downtime.    

What do you miss about LA?  

I know this is strange coming from an Angeleno, but the cool weather! You could be in the Valley’s 100 degree weather, but drive down to Santa Monica and be in the upper 70s. In Houston, there’s no escaping the humidity! 

Tell us something surprising about Houston that people may not realize. 

I know this is weird to shoutout, but one thing I love is the rain. And it rains a lot here! Sometimes it’s really bad, but usually, it’s just a hard rain for a day. I’m able to go out to our covered garage and just listen to the rain while having a drink — it’s a great thing!