Opinions of Living in Houston

So recently I have been offered a position at a bank in Houston but, have read that crime is high in the city. My question is for people living in the city how is it? If I still would want to enjoy the night life the city has to offer.

Also is Houston a city where you would need a car to get around or is it a city like Manhattan where most of the people either walk or take taxis to get where they want to go.

Comments (105)

Best Response
May 7, 2017

Forget it, Donny, you're out of your element!

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May 7, 2017

You'd need a car, the cost of living is cheap so you can live like a king for the price of barely getting by in NY, the crime isn't a problem as long as you live in a decent area(I can recommend some if you tell me a budget and how far you would commute to work), the southern hospitality is nice, and the BBQ and Sweet Tea is priceless

May 7, 2017

That is good to hear that the crime isn't a problem ideally I would want to spend 1300$ max with a commute of 10-15 minutes. Obviously understanding that rush hour can increase the commute time but just a general idea. Ill take a good safe location to a longer commute. I do want to stay within the city and not venture to the suburbs.

May 7, 2017

I'd try to find a place in river oaks, West university, midtown, the heights (be careful on what part of the heights), or Bellaire.

May 8, 2017

You should be able to find an apartment or condo in a number of neighborhoods for that price. If you can find some roommates, there are plenty of 3bd/3ba townhouses that rent out around the $2,500 mark. Look around midtown, the Heights, Rice Military, and Montrose -- all are relatively centrally located (short commute, plenty of nightlife) and have a younger population.

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May 13, 2017

Look at the Wasington Corridor, also called the South Heights.

May 13, 2017

Spot on. Not sure what kind of Yankee-Globalist Scumbag would MS this.

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May 12, 2017

Houston is a great spot (secretly I wish people would stop coming here). On an IB salary you can live like a King as the above poster mentioned and it all depends on if you have a car and where you want to live (i.e. Quite part of town vs area close to bars)

Give us some details if you can and we can help you out. I can even recommend some good areas to consider. In the meantime checkout Apartment Finder where you can do 360 walkthroughs of the units but make sure you don't go purely off of sticker price and be able to negotiate.

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May 12, 2017

I worked at a BB firm in downtown Houston for a couple years. Live in downtown or Midtown for younger crowd and safer neighborhood(Midtown is where all the fun bars are). Downtown you can land a solid 1br apartment for 1200-1300. Good luck bud.

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May 12, 2017

Solid 1BR downtown for 1300? What? Maybe a 400 sf studio but a decent 1 BR downtown will be 1800 at least and you're still probably getting 600 sf max.

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May 13, 2017

Wtf are you talking about? $1200-$1300 is definitely the sweet spot for nice places in Houston

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May 12, 2017

LOLOL you pussy. Crime isn't a problem any more in any city if you make an above middle class salary. GTFO

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May 13, 2017

The epitome of a WSO 'Certified User.' Two bananas too.

May 12, 2017

Anyone who thinks crime is high in the US/Canada has not lived in South Africa.

You have $3M estates within 2-3 kilometers of "townships" (i.e. houses with no roofs).
In which case you'll need gated driveways, fully electrified concrete walls, etc.

I worked remotely from JoBurg for a few months. The level of "anxiety" is shocking.

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May 14, 2017

I don't feel sorry for people in South Africa, as anyone who doesn't sell their assets and just move the fuck out of SA is an idiot.

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Feb 20, 2019

I've heard stories of kids walking down the street with bodyguards as if it was totally normal. Yay or nay?

May 12, 2017

Houston is amazing, lived in downtown core this past year, moving to the Heights at the end of this month top areas would be

-museum district
-the heights
-the galleria
-rice military
-med center

I see a lot of people suggesting midtown, recently I feel like the area has gotten a bit run down the apartments are now far cheaper and the quality is quickly diminishing. Plus the newest cooler bars are in downtown and the heights. Notably Cle and Spire for clubby vibes. And Bovine & Barley and Boots & Shoots for bar vibes.

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May 14, 2017

I can second this. I currently live in Midtown because it was where everyone recommended that I should live when I moved here. My girlfriend and I are moving out here in about a month to somewhere a little bit nicer like the Heights/Washington.

May 12, 2017

"Crime" in Houston... Lol. Stop being a child, do your research and move into one of the countless neighborhoods next to Downtown that offer fantastic living at obscenely low prices. Lifestyle is incredible in this city at 100k+ comps.

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May 12, 2017

Where are you coming from?

I lived in Houston for over 4 years and did a banking internship there. While I love it, it isn't for everyone. It's a much different culture from that of NYC, Chi, Beantown, SF, etc. It's also very different from its neighbors Dallas and Austin. With that said, once you get used to it and learn to appreciate the low cost of living, the generally very friendly people, the abundance of great food, and the high quality of life, it's pretty great. Some neighborhoods (Rice University, parts of the Heights, parts of Midtown, parts of Montrose, River Oaks) are gems. It may be worth your while to learn to shoot and get a gun -- hunting/shooting/firearms can be a pretty prevalent topic of conversation, even in banking. On the flip side, a lot of people have been moving in, so the already abysmal traffic got worse, some parts (just like in any other large city) can be very dangerous so don't go there, there are lots of trucks kicking up random things on the roads, and lots of construction. Everywhere.

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Jan 10, 2019

Do you know how the S&T with crude oil is doing in Houston? I see everyone says commodity trading in banks is dying but I was wondering if it's a different story in Houston. I want to move to Houston for a summer internship (from England), because I'm really interested in the oil market, more so than other commodities.

Jan 13, 2019

I don't have firsthand knowledge of S&T at the banks, but my friends there tell me it's been fine. Chevron has its trading floor in Houston, but you'll first and foremost be trading to move volumes for the company, and only then trying to generate $$. Still not a bad gig. A number of O&G independents also have trading teams in Houston.

May 13, 2017

You will have to shop around to find a 15min commute $1300/1br. Look up where "inside the loop" areas are in Houston and shoot for that. However, avoid living in midtown or SE areas of "inside the loop" as they are becoming more ghetto. On a budget you could find somewhere near the Galleria or Greenway Plaza. But given a choice I recommend the Heights area, or Oak Forest might have some good deals. Stay away from the UH area, directly south, directly north, and NE of downtown. Outside the loop you might be able to find some deals in East Downtown aka EaDo.

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Funniest
May 13, 2017

I would binge watch the walking dead and fear the walking dead to prepare for the crime apocalypse in Houston. Be sure to buy a crossbow and have it on you at all times. For good measure you may also keep a katana on your back as well.

These actions will help increase your odds of survival and gain you credibility amongst your peers and supervisors.

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May 14, 2017

born and raised in houston, still live here. my assumption is that you are working in oil and gas investment banks (JPM, Citi, GS, Macquarie, SImmons, Lazard, Jeffries, Lazard, etc). Congrats on the offer by the way. I work in Asset Management down here back office. with that being said, downtown houston is nice, its getting much better in terms of nightlife and reducing crime. like any city, it does have its crime and there are parts of houston that you shouldnt go to at night. Most people dont live in downtown tho, youll see most people have places in montrose, uptown galleria, midtown, heights or west university by rice. You have to have a car in houston to get anywhere. downtown youll be able to probably get around by foot, but if you plan on going outside of downtown, you will have to have a car. houston is an incredibly huge and spread out city.

its a great city, COL is stupid cheap, food is incredible and its a really diverse city with lots of stuff to do. it might not have a ton of landmarks or be a place that one would travel to, but its a hella good city to live in. let me know if you have any other questions about houston

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May 14, 2017

Lmao. Maybe it's just me, but I personally wouldn't be trying so hard to shit on schools on the forum if I can't even land a decent IB gig. You've been on these forums for 3 years, and didn't manage to do the one thing that most kids are reading the forums for.

With that said, if you're trying for internal mobility post Junior year SA, many of the FO office kids from GSAM, Securities, maybe even PEG/GSIP will be interviewing for the remaining IBD spots. Not sure how O&G Houston works, but I would in addition to what you are doing, leverage the senior guys that might know of any senior IBD contacts to help you land interviews or convince HR to give you a interview spot come FT accelerated. Those are also ways I have seen Non-IBD-> IBD in GS happen.

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May 14, 2017
tobster28:

Lmao. Maybe it's just me, but I personally wouldn't be trying so hard to shit on schools on the forum if I can't even land a decent IB gig. You've been on these forums for 3 years, and didn't manage to do the one thing that most kids are reading the forums for.

With that said, if you're trying for internal mobility post Junior year SA, many of the FO office kids from GSAM, Securities, maybe even PEG/GSIP will be interviewing for the remaining IBD spots. Not sure how O&G Houston works, but I would in addition to what you are doing, leverage the senior guys that might know of any senior IBD contacts to help you land interviews or convince HR to give you a interview spot come FT accelerated. Those are also ways I have seen Non-IBD-> IBD in GS happen.

thanks for the response i'll try my best

May 14, 2017

Honestly, it'll be a tough sell. From what I understand, Market Risk analysts at GS are closer to trading than banking. It probably isn't going to happen for you at Goldman. There are just too many questions with your story- why didn't you take a MM IBD offer? Why did you work in Dallas and not Houston? Why weren't you in the special programs at UT (BHP, FAP, etc)? (If you are, great).
There will be a lot of competition- not just from UT, but other schools as well (A&M, Rice, Vandy, SMU). Many of whom have banking or FO internships. It's possible though. I know many people who started in BO (or MO- not sure how market risk is evaluated) and made the switch.

The game plan from here is to start networking with alumni, recruiters, etc to get your name out there. Ask yourself what went wrong in SA recruiting, and fix it. Your biggest problem now is your role doesn't really work on a deal by deal basis, like credit risk. Aim for MM IBD and use the BB's as a reach.

Network hard. This isn't going to be handed to you. Good luck!

May 14, 2017

What schools did he "shit" on?

May 14, 2017

So you shit on NYU in a recent thread, shit on UT then decided to go while shitting on Houston saying it isn't your target and, now want to network to get into Houston? The irony...

May 14, 2017

Value add, yes.

I think the Houston market is in limbo right now.

May 14, 2017

I'm going to answer your overly broad question with an overly broad answer: There is money to be made in RE in all markets, at all times: "good" and "bad". All you need to do is figure out if the projected returns fit your investment criteria or if you have a better alternative elsewhere (comparing on a risk adjusted basis of course).

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May 14, 2017

thanks for the lesson. so insightful.

it was more of a post to see if anyone that actually has experience in the market had anything specific to share. not me seeking sarcastic advice.

May 14, 2017

Greenstreet said it's getting owned..

May 15, 2017

Working on an industrial deal in Houston right now. First time I dove into the market, but industrial there is an excellent asset class, particularly in the SE submarket. Vacancy rates have been below 10% for over a decade and throughout the downturn (been sub 5% for a while now). Industrial assets without heavy exposure to O&G tenants are definitely worth a look.

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May 15, 2017

From what I recall - this market had a huge MF and office pipeline, in addition to a large sublease space problem. This is a value-add/opportunistic market. If you have flexible capital in terms of risk and investment horizons, it might be interesting to buy some assets unlevered with enough CF to cover any carry costs and when oil (and consequently, Houston) turns around, you can pick up a nice multiple.

May 15, 2017

I wouldn't hold your breath on the oil industry coming back. Question should be how diversified Houston can be away from oil.

May 15, 2017

Finding deals in Houston is probably easy at the moment, but buying them is probably tough. As a lender, we're told essentially to be pretty stringent on it.

I would say a lot of Texas is in that boat at the moment. As a CMBS Lender, it is a very tough deal at the moment. From a B-Buyer perspective, a lot of them won't even touch it with a ten foot pole.

May 15, 2017

I can't give much valuable insight because I don't operate in the Houston market. But I must say this is one of the most pretentious things I've read in a while...

"No offense to the brokers on this forum but I have to take all this with a grain of salt since I am on the buy side and the current market conditions just seem so volatile there."

Sales people paint a pretty picture for anything they are trying to sell. Similar to getting pitched by an investment banker. Your job "on the buyside" is to properly dig through the noise.

Sincerely,
Your "buy side" peer

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May 15, 2017

wasn't meant to be pretentious. simply pointing out what you just said "Sales people paint a pretty picture for anything they are trying to sell."

the term "to take with a grain of salt" isn't really an insult. My father is in tech sales, so i have nothing against sales people.

And I'm not sure why you feel the need to put buy side in quotations seemingly sarcastically. Th point is i wanted to hear from people who are on the same side of the table as me. not someone trying to sell me on something. that's all.

May 15, 2017

I have worked on a handful of multifamily deals in Houston over the past 12 months. We had 3 merchant build dispositions last summer and fall. We had strong interest from institutional buyers on all 3 dispositions, lease up was better than we had underwritten, and rents came in higher than proforma projections as well.

We have one long term hold MF deal in SW Houston that is currently finishing up construction. So far leasing velocity has been almost as strong as it was on the merchant build properties. Which is impressive as oil was doing much better back then. Comparable Class A properties are still seeing lease up velocity of 16-20 units per month in the SW submarket.

We aren't rushing into any new deals in Houston, but we would certainly jump back in if the right deal came along. Increasing construction costs are making deals in and around Houston tight. I also can't speak to Class B or Class C property performance.

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May 15, 2017

I worked in Houston for a few years for a CRE investment firm. I can tell you that Class A MF is still fine because even though occupancy has dropped, the rates are still in low 90 area. I really only saw a couple with occupancies in the 89% range. There was a ton of incoming supply that the market is trying to absorb now, but developers have halted and lenders are not funding like they used to. Retail is fine and if anything hasn't seen any impact. Sales per sqft are still fairly strong. The real area that got hit was office and that will continue to get worse. There was a ton of incoming supply for office and it simply won't get absorbed quick enough. In addition, exxon is leaving downtown and its other regional centers for their massive new campus in the woodlands. This is going to open up a ton of square footage that these existing buildings won't be able to lease. There is already a steep price war between landlords with significant TIs and concessions, etc. Houston is not just an oil based economy, it has taken off big in areas like manufacturing and medical. Houston has the largest medical center in the world. Though oil is still big, the city is much more diversified and able to withstand oil shocks better than before.

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May 15, 2017

Houston is the best. Real estate [email protected]!

GO TEXANS

May 15, 2017

I'm not in Houston, but we have several developments and various investments down there. I don't buy the institutional vs. high net worth argument above. An overwhelmingly large portion of the economy is based on the price of crude, so the effect is obvious.
- Office - They have the ~2nd largest office pipeline in the US, its going to be bloody. The sublease space has already increased significantly.
- MF - They have had an enormous number of deliveries and there is still a huge pipeline. The number of broker OM's coming from Houston is obviously a flag.
Industrial - There are comments above so I wont beat the dead horse. The refinery/petrochemical guys in SE Houston are experiencing a boom and doing very well.
- Debt - Lenders have put red tape all over Houston and the majority of banks are not funding deals here.
- Equity - Some of the largest most well known developers cant raise money for deals. I'm not talking about mom and pop shops, I'm talking about very large national development companies.
- Land - Landowners are coming around on pricing. Dirt is trading at a 20% discount to prices one year ago, the trend will continue.

You can make money here, but you better be well capitalized and cautious as hell in which sub-markets you get into. Areas that are heavily populated by O&G companies should be avoided (Energy Corridor, The Woodlands, Etc..).

May 15, 2017

No.

May 15, 2017

Houston will stay O&G. Dallas has 3x the amount of financial oppotunities anyway, and thats just in the state of Tx.

May 15, 2017
baylormale:

Houston will stay O&G. Dallas has 3x the amount of financial oppotunities anyway, and thats just in the state of Tx.

Not for banking or private equity. Dallas has some of those, but the main numbers are in hedge funds and a TON of asset management.

May 15, 2017

tier one no definitely not. T1 Hong Kong Dubai London New York

May 15, 2017

Don't want to sound like I'm offending you but is Dubai really tier one? I thought it was New York (NA), London (EMEA), Hong Kong (Asia ex-Japan) and Tokyo (JPN).

May 15, 2017

Not even close. But for energy tough to beat.

May 15, 2017

I'm moving then.

"Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a Champion" - Muhammad Ali

May 15, 2017

Houston, really? lol

NYC, LON, HK...maybe Singapore too

Dubai is a ghost town.

May 15, 2017

It's not tier one.

But really - tier one isn't CRITICAL. You can be successful in any of the cities you mentioned - Jamie Dimon (started in NYC, but "grew up" in Chicago).

Moreso - it's unlikely you'll ever be at CEO of a BB or anything like that- but Houston absolutely is fucking respectable. As are all of the of the other cities you mentioned. If you can get into trading there or in a HF, you'll be off better than 99% of the world.

Look at you and your future. So much comparison is done to other cities. If you can do Houston and be the shit - people will respect you. Look at John Arnold. Look at Enron (sans its somewhat duplicitous nature towards the end, hehe...)

May 15, 2017

Even though Houston isn't really a finance city like NY I'd like to live there. Dirt cheap cost of living with 75-80% the income. I might not have the same career opportunities in Houston but I'll have a hell of a lot more investment capital.

Btw, does anyone know if the CFA has any value in the energy industry? I could see the value of starting out energy, then obtaining a CFA and you'd be perfect for energy ER, or a specialty fund. I was just wondering if it had any value the other way around.

Competition is a sin.

-John D. Rockefeller

May 15, 2017

CAIA prolly better for commodities than CFA

May 15, 2017

T1 - NY, London
T2 - Chicago, LA, Tokyo, HK
T3 - SF, Toronto
T4+ - unimportant

May 15, 2017

Look, its

T1: NYC, LON, HK
T2: SF, CHI, TOK
T3: LA, HOU/DAL, Dubai

I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.

May 15, 2017

I actually might be moving to Houston soon enough. Last I was there, it was pretty bumpin'

May 15, 2017

I've always felt the industry should be tier ranked not the city. For example ibd NYC is tier one for ibd. SF is top tier for vc. Chicago is tier 1 for trading. Houston is the energy capitol of the world. You need to break it down by industry before you just throw out tier rankings on cities.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

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May 15, 2017
heister:

I've always felt the industry should be tier ranked not the city. For example ibd NYC is tier one for ibd. SF is top tier for vc. Chicago is tier 1 for trading. Houston is the energy capitol of the world. You need to break it down by industry before you just throw out tier rankings on cities.

This

May 15, 2017

Houston is definitely nice. I'm pursuing my CFA at the moment, just sat for level one earlier this month. Want to get into energy PE down the road. I just thought I'd get everyones take on the city.

"Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a Champion" - Muhammad Ali

May 15, 2017

also, what about the compensation difference between ny and houston for a bulge bracket?

May 15, 2017

no comp diff, cost of living dramatically less in houston, no city or state income taxes

May 15, 2017

I work at a regional office at a bulge braket bank. I was told directly by my senior officers that experience at regional offices is discounted, especially for women. NY is much more equally balanced.

May 15, 2017

I am in Houston and have more or less a small drinking group of wso peeps in town

you coming back to join JP?

May 15, 2017

Yes

May 15, 2017

good job man. you will like houston. cheap living and no state tax..also it seems like everyone is in the energy biz in town in some way shape or form

May 15, 2017

When you move into town, get plugged in with Young Professionals in Finance: http://www.ypfinance.com/houston/
The people that are involved in the organization are all younger (hence the name) and work in invesement & corporate banking, private equity, law, and accounting. I'm pretty sure we have every major and boutique shop represented in town.

We put on monthly happy hours, quarterly speaker series, and other events geared towards the finance space. We are also affiliated with Rice University and will have a number of events at Rice beginning in the Spring of 2010.

May 15, 2017

i 2nd ypf and also ype

May 15, 2017

Sounds good, will do.

May 15, 2017

.

May 15, 2017

if you go to a YPE and YPF happy hour you can meet 100 people easy.

May 15, 2017

wanted to second the props for monty09. was in houston last weekend and met him for a drink to talk about his energy trading experience and potential summer opps. my background - work in mgmt consulting focused on energy, going to b-school in fall, actively trade various products on the side, and looking to transition to commodity trading FT. had a good chat with monty and would definitely recommend touching base if interested in energy/houston.

May 15, 2017

I'll be settling down in Houston (long term) in the summer as well, and I was wondering if anyone had advice or recommendations on general areas to live. I've heard that there at a lot of options, but I'm trying to balance cost/quality with easy access to downtown Houston (I've had the opportunity to see Houston traffic, so I'd like to avoid as much of it as possible)

May 15, 2017

My sister-in-law lives in Spring and every time I'm out there I can't help feeling that I'm lost in some cookie-cutter tract house suburban nightmare. Also a pointless post, but I want the wife to think I'm working as well.

May 15, 2017

My cellphone has gone off twice alerting me that some posted in this thread, and twice I have had to read these posts.....this is my revenge to anyone else dumb enough to click on this thread.

May 15, 2017
Gekko21:

My cellphone has gone off twice alerting me that some posted in this thread, and twice I have had to read these posts.....this is my revenge to anyone else dumb enough to click on this thread.

I hope this makes it go off a third time....

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

May 15, 2017

Midtown is a younger scene and is good for working downtown. The Heights/Washington Ave area is good for a younger scene too. Lots of new development with restaurants/bars/clubs in that area. You can also catch Memorial/Allen Parkway into downtown from the Heights so the commute is pretty quick.

May 15, 2017
SexyCommando:

Midtown is a younger scene and is good for working downtown. The Heights/Washington Ave area is good for a younger scene too. Lots of new development with restaurants/bars/clubs in that area. You can also catch Memorial/Allen Parkway into downtown from the Heights so the commute is pretty quick.

great post.

I am in Houston so once in town... drinks on me

this goes for everyone else to

May 15, 2017
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