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British expat relocating from Dubai to Houston,Texas

British expat relocating from Dubai to Houston,Texas

Old Mar 31st 2014, 8:55 pm
  #61  
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Default Re: British expat relocating from Dubai to Houston,Texas

Originally Posted by ChocolateBabz View Post
... In 6 years have I heard a gunshot - no ....
Wow, I hear them most days, and always on weekends, but then I live in a fairly rural area. At least one person within earshot owns some sort of machine gun, and recently it sounds like someone has acquired a cannon, because we get these mighty, almost earth-shaking BOOMS!.
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Old Mar 31st 2014, 9:17 pm
  #62  
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Default Re: British expat relocating from Dubai to Houston,Texas

Things to worry about in Sugarland.
  • Being in a car accident.
  • Hurricanes.
  • Mosquitos.
  • Big Spiders.
  • Snakes.
  • Fire ants.
  • Alligators.
  • Heat and humidity.
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Old Mar 31st 2014, 9:20 pm
  #63  
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Default Re: British expat relocating from Dubai to Houston,Texas

I have moved the off topic posts into a new thread.

http://britishexpats.com/forum/showthread.php?t=830109
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Old Mar 31st 2014, 9:28 pm
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Default Re: British expat relocating from Dubai to Houston,Texas

Originally Posted by Michael View Post
Things to worry about in Sugarland.
  • Being in a car accident.
  • Hurricanes.
  • Mosquitos.
  • Big Spiders.
  • Snakes.
  • Fire ants.
  • Alligators.
  • Heat and humidity.
You put fire ants above alligators?
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Old Mar 31st 2014, 9:31 pm
  #65  
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Default Re: British expat relocating from Dubai to Houston,Texas

Originally Posted by Weeze View Post
You put fire ants above alligators?
I got a few of them in the wrong place. Heat and humidity should be higher.
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Old Mar 31st 2014, 9:34 pm
  #66  
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Default Re: British expat relocating from Dubai to Houston,Texas

Originally Posted by Weeze View Post
You put fire ants above alligators?
Er yeah! I can see gators but those damn fire ants...

Of course my opinion may change if I get bitten by a gator!!!
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Old Mar 31st 2014, 10:05 pm
  #67  
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Default Re: British expat relocating from Dubai to Houston,Texas

Originally Posted by DubaiCat View Post
Can anyone with half a brain help me? I've tried to be polite and ignore silly replies...but can someone pls help?
Half a day away from the laptop and five pages on...

Its interesting that when people ask about moving to most cities in the US, the replies tend to come from folk who live there, or have lived there. Yet when folk ask about Houston, all sorts of crackpots chip in with pretty useless comments.

If it were me, to get to the sensible posts, ignore anything said by folk who are commenting on the basis of having been here for a few days on business (you won't find many that have been here on vacation). They fall into the same category as the twunts that come on here saying they want to move to Florida because they visited Disney a few times, and should probably be treated with the same derision that the Mickey wannabes receive. Yes, they are entitled to an opinion, but its not going to be a very useful one for someone looking for info on moving here.

A few folk living here have posted that they like it, a few have posted that they don't - I'm a bit inbetween. There are good and bad things, its not paradise, but on the whole, we are happy here. We've stayed for 12 years, so cant be that bad!

Housing - as some have mentioned, housing is very affordable - house prices are relatively cheap, and income high in comparison - I'm not much for the blanket quoting of statistics, but... Sugarland for instance has a median income of 107k, and median house price of 247k. I suspect there are few major metropolitan areas that can provide a nice suburb with such a cheap house price to income ratio. I'm guessing you will be renting, and if so, in any of the nice suburbs you will get something very nice for 5k or less. If you're going into the gated communities with $1mill plus properties, it will be a bit higher, but to be honest, I don't see the need for gated - security is not that much of a problem, and most of the gated communities give a false sense of security because the gates are so porous (if you want the code, ask the pizza shop or the lawn guys) The only ones that aren't are the ones that have 24 hour security guards checking entry, and they are few and far between.

Things to do - if folk aren't finding things to do, they really can't be looking very hard. In the past few weeks we've been to the symphony and the ballet, my kids have been to the theater, we've done numerous museums, visited state parks on the door step, biked, hiked, fished and canoed. There are multiple professional sports teams (with differing levels of success!), we've just had the Houston rodeo which some may scoff at, but is interesting to visit at least once. We prefer the smaller country style rodeos, of which there are quite a few within easy reach. It all depends what you want to do, but if you are bored in Houston, I would have a look in the mirror.

Eating out - there is everything from cheap and cheerful to fine dining...It's probably not the "best" eating city I've been to, but nor is it the worst. I don't find the eating out here expensive compared to other metropolitan areas - certainly a fraction of similar dining in say, London or New York.

Gun issues - yes, I know people who have guns. No, I don't have one, nor do I want one or feel threatened without one. My boys (12 and 11) have been through gun safety lessons with the Boy Scouts, and if I were to come across a gun, I would probably defer to them on safe handling procedures Well, not quite, but they know as much about them as I do. My eldest teaches gun safety on Scout days, and I have seen him in situations where he has corrected other adults on safety issues. He asks regularly to go hunting with a friend from school, but I know the dad, and I do not trust him, so my son has never been. The dad is not what I would class as a responsible owner for all sorts of reasons. Bottom line, I really wouldn't let the "gun issue" be a deciding factor for coming to Houston ( or anywhere else in the US for that matter).

Safety - we moved here 12 years ago from an 8 year posting in Singapore, which has to be one of the safest environments going. We have had no issues with safety here.

Traffic can be a nightmare, particularly in rush hour- choose your commute very carefully!! If the job is in downtown, as you don't have kids, I would seriously look at living very close in. We rent out apartments in downtown, and never have any trouble finding quality tenants - single expats of all ages, and retirees who enjoy what downtown has to offer.

Aesthetics. No, it's not a pretty city, though I've seen worse, and from the top of a flyover where we live, 30 miles out, downtown looks pretty nice! The main thing I miss is mountains and coast. We are 70 miles from the coast (Galveston isn't my favorite, but there are some nice bits of coast if you hunt them down) and 150 miles from the Hill Country, which is a nice weekend escape. Heading north and east you hit some nice country pretty quickly with the Lakes and forest areas just north of the Woodlands. No, its not the Grand Canyon or the California coast, but geography is geography.

If you want to live "out" then Woodlands, Katy, Sugarland are popular areas for expats, though it has to be said these are more oriented to families. There are lots of folk on here that live elsewhere though - its the 5th biggest metro area in the US, so the range of choices is huge. We have friends who live 1.5 hours out, on a small ranch and raise horses and cattle as well as working a day job in IT in the city. We have friends that live high rise downtown and walk to work. Horses for courses.

Public transport is pretty much non-existent, but the airport hubs are pretty good if you want to travel.

err, long brain dump there, sorry!
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Old Mar 31st 2014, 10:12 pm
  #68  
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Default Re: British expat relocating from Dubai to Houston,Texas

Originally Posted by Suexpat View Post
What amenities are there in Houston to support a high salary?
Originally Posted by Weeze View Post
Off the top of my head, luxury shopping, boutique spas and hotels, golf courses, theaters....
Just to add to what Weeze listed. There are some very nice clubs and spas in Houston; The Houstonian, Briar Club, Royal Oaks CC etc.

There is a good Polo club, some great tennis clubs, a ton of good golf courses, access to race tracks (cars though there are horses too), boating galore with multiple options as to where, several good breweries close by, what is it that you think is missing Suexpat? As for the food - I don't think it's that expensive - there are expensive options but I'd expect (and want) that in a big city. There are also plenty of cheaper places to eat out.
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Old Mar 31st 2014, 10:16 pm
  #69  
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Default Re: British expat relocating from Dubai to Houston,Texas

I found ur reply most helpful and given ur expat history and experience in Houston, the most relevant. I'm going to contact Houston State Police myself re gun control... Might just get a clearer picture other than replies posted! Thank you!
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Old Mar 31st 2014, 10:20 pm
  #70  
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Default Re: British expat relocating from Dubai to Houston,Texas

Originally Posted by DubaiCat View Post
I found ur reply most helpful and given ur expat history and experience in Houston, the most relevant. I'm going to contact Houston State Police myself re gun control... Might just get a clearer picture other than replies posted! Thank you!
Houston State Police?
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Old Mar 31st 2014, 10:20 pm
  #71  
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Default Re: British expat relocating from Dubai to Houston,Texas

Originally Posted by DubaiCat View Post
..... I'm going to contact Houston State Police myself re gun control... ...
I am interested to know what you are thinking of asking, and what sort of answers you expect?

At best they might point you to a web site for some data, which you could Google-up yourself (try city-data.com, which has all manner of demographic data, including some crime data, for Harris county, which includes Houston). If you're lucky they won't laugh at you.

Last edited by Pulaski; Mar 31st 2014 at 10:31 pm.
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Old Mar 31st 2014, 10:23 pm
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Default Re: British expat relocating from Dubai to Houston,Texas

Originally Posted by Bink View Post
Just to add to what Weeze listed. There are some very nice clubs and spas in Houston; The Houstonian, Briar Club, Royal Oaks CC etc.

There is a good Polo club, some great tennis clubs, a ton of good golf courses, access to race tracks (cars though there are horses too), boating galore with multiple options as to where, several good breweries close by, what is it that you think is missing Suexpat? As for the food - I don't think it's that expensive - there are expensive options but I'd expect (and want) that in a big city. There are also plenty of cheaper places to eat out.
Are you joking about restaurants, I can eat far cheaper in London, Europe or anywhere in the Far East, portions yes might be a lot smaller but do I really need to have to take most of my food home in a doggie bag as its too much. I want to be able to do something weekends other than shop and eat. Soon the weather will be too hot to play tennis, golf etc. I also want to rent a house where the landlord is not just out there to make money and accepts his responsibilities.
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Old Mar 31st 2014, 10:31 pm
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Default Re: British expat relocating from Dubai to Houston,Texas

Originally Posted by Suexpat View Post
Are you joking about restaurants, I can eat far cheaper in London, Europe or anywhere in the Far East.
I'd have to agree with Bink again. I find the food in restaurants generally very reasonably priced. It's one of the things visitors comment on, especially the steak places.
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Old Mar 31st 2014, 10:31 pm
  #74  
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Default Re: British expat relocating from Dubai to Houston,Texas

Give me some slack peops! Why are you all so offensive? As I've pointed out... Never been to the States.. Police seem the obvious option.. Forgive me if I used the wrong terminology... And do not use my post/thread if feeling superior and smug
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Old Mar 31st 2014, 10:45 pm
  #75  
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Default Re: British expat relocating from Dubai to Houston,Texas

Originally Posted by DubaiCat View Post
Give me some slack peops! Why are you all so offensive? As I've pointed out... Never been to the States.. Police seem the obvious option.. Forgive me if I used the wrong terminology... And do not use my post/thread if feeling superior and smug.
We're volunteers here, trying to be helpful, but with limited time, so sometimes we may appear a little brusque.

The police here, in the US in general are much less "approachable" than in the UK. They have a habit of showing up and pointing a gun at something no matter what the reason they were called. There are "community" officers, but they will do little if any time "on the beat". That said, America has lots of data, especially from any sort of government funded activity, and all that is published on line (through the city, county or state web sites), or aggregated on another web site, either traditional media, or some other site such as city-data, zillow.com, realtor.com, which have links to crime and demographic data.

Last edited by Pulaski; Mar 31st 2014 at 10:51 pm.
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