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Further Thoughts on Dallas vs. Houston

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AmberGretchen

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Hi all,

I just wanted to update everyone on the Dallas vs. Houston quandary that my DH and I are struggling with. First of all, thank you SO MUCH to those who contributed their valuable insights to my previous thread - we''ve really discussed all of your comments many times over the intervening weeks and have found them to be an amazing source of information and insight.

For those unfamiliar with the situation, a brief recap: I''ve been offered (and have accepted) my dream job, which will start in or around August of this year, when I finish graduate school. The company that I will be working for has offices in both Dallas and Houston and has given us the choice of moving to either city. This doesn''t have to be a permanent choice - we could easily transfer between the two cities, and if we were unhappy, could move to a large number of other locations after a couple of years in either place.

So here''s the update, and what we''re struggling with. The company kindly flew us out to visit a couple of weeks ago. We spent essentially 30 hours in each place - enough time to meet some people from each office, and to get a tour of the city, including neighborhoods we''d be likely to live in, and had several lovely meals in both. Unfortunately, I was quite sick while we were there, and so sounded approximately like a dying frog, but we managed to have a reasonably nice time nonetheless.

Based on the input here and from a number of other people we talked to, we both went on the trip trying to keep an open mind but with an expectation that we would like Dallas better and find it to be a better fit. Much to our surprise, we liked a lot of things about Houston much more than we thought we would. Firstly, we were struck by the beauty of some of the older/nicer neighborhoods inside the loop in Houston. They had beautiful houses on nice lots, and nothing had that brand-new, shiny, fake feel that neither of us is a huge fan of - there were some new houses, but also a lot of nice older ones. Secondly, we really bonded with one of the women who works in the Houston office and her husband - they were just the most lovely people, and we spent quite a bit of time with them during our visit and really bonded (I had previously talked to her on the phone, and we had really hit it off) - my DH even got along really well with her DH, which rarely happens with him.

We really liked the people in both offices (and were incredibly impressed with them - very smart, driven people we had expected, but these people were also genuinely nice, sweet, and fun to be around as well - we are thrilled about that part!). But we did bond a bit more with the people we met in Houston - we found them to be a touch more genuine, and just felt a stronger and deeper connection. We loved the sense of culture around the museums in Houston and we thought Memorial Park was especially lovely.

My DH also has a friend who lives in Houston, whereas he has no connections in Dallas. I have a dear friend whose family is from Dallas, so I''d probably get to see her there at holidays, but otherwise no significant connections in the city.

All of that said, we are now extremely torn. So many people whose opinions we trust (not all, but the vast majority of those we''ve talked to) have said they vastly prefer Dallas to Houston. And we certainly understood some of the reasons - the city (and especially the Uptown area, where we''d likely be living and I''d be working), felt very small and manageable and easy to get around in. It also felt very safe, whereas the Houston downtown had some really nice parts and some not-so-nice parts.

I also appreciated that Dallas seems to have a somewhat lower cost of living, and especially lower housing costs for where we''d live. Additionally, I worry about the weather in Houston in the summer - I know both places are very hot, but I don''t do well in humidity and I worry about going out regularly in that weather, especially once we get a dog, who will have to go out regularly.

Career-wise, I had worried about not having as much partner contact in Houston because its a much smaller office, but the person I bonded with there, as well as a couple of others, who started in the last few years have a great deal of respect from their colleagues and seem to be doing extremely well at the company, so I''m less worried about that aspect now.

I know this has gotten long, so I''ll stop here, but I think the bottom line is this: we expected to prefer Dallas, but in person we preferred Houston. But we are hesitating because of all we''ve heard about it and because so many people we''ve spoken to (and trust) strongly prefer Dallas, even though when we visited, our guts said Houston (especially my DH - I was more torn in general).

The good news is, there is no bad choice here - we liked both cities much better than we expected, and loved the people I''ll be working with, so I''m sure either way we won''t be miserable, but it feels like a big decision and I don''t want to rush it.
 

lyra

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Oh dear, you''re still torn? I''d choose Dallas based on weather alone. My best friend lives in Houston. She''s had to evacuate or live through tornadoes every year. Then there''s the flood plain. I absolutely wouldn''t be able to handle the insects, spiders, snakes, rodents and other wildlife. My friend handles it all very well, but I couldn''t. I mean, she ends up squishing geckos accidentally as they try to run in her sliding door.
I love geckos, but I couldn''t stand that kind of thing. Security is a big issue for her too, although they live in a very safe newer area, it''s something she has to always be aware of. Her daughter lives in Dallas, and she lives somewhere near downtown I guess. More of a "younger people" type area that they love for the amenities. I think though, if you have a strong gut feeling one way or the other, then you should go with it. We had to do that when we took a job across the country in an area we were totally unfamiliar with. It turns out that job ended one year later, and where we chose to live was actually closer to where the next job came up. Everything works out. Good luck!
 

LaurenThePartier

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Yay, Amber! I'm so glad you made it to both cities!

Honestly, from your posts, it truly sounds like Houston appeals to you more. I think the personal connections you've made with co-workers could be the deciding factor, and it would be my key deciding factor, as well.

You're right, Houston summers are horrendous, but Dallas summers aren't a whole lot better. My first visit here was in August of 1999, and it was the hottest summer on record for like 40 years, and SO humid! But, it's been mild here in recent years . . .

I suggest you go with your gut on this - everyone has a different experience in different cities, and although some people prefer Houston over Dallas, or Dallas over Houston, or Austin over both (I'm actually one of those
), you have to go with the city you feel suits you better.

And, I wouldn't overthink it. Your post lays out the important factors. Your husband seems happy to move to Houston, you've already made fast friends - your words read Houston to me.
 

luckystar112

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My opinion:
I think living and working inside the loop would be great. I bet I would like Houston a lot more if that is where I lived...but I live in a northwest suburb that is nowhere near downtown. The things you listed about the area are definitely pluses...the museum district, the medical center, memorial park, etc. The downside is that the traffic pretty much sucks. If you could take the metro around that could help with that. I even have a friend who bought a scooter (JUST for neighborhood roads).
That being said, you know my opinion on the rest of the city.
I noticed the other day you mentioned something in another thread about bad drivers, and I thought "she''s going to hate it here". I developed a fear of driving living here because I''m convinced someone is going to kill me. I don''t take the freeways anywhere. I will take the long way even if it takes 3 hours in traffic. I''m an extreme case though.
Not sure what the driving is like in Dallas. The zoning here is pretty messed up, although not so much inside the loop I don''t think. It''s also the reason that you drive by something beautiful and then something ugly right after. lol. Personally I feel like Houston has way more ugly than pretty.

The humidity is definitely a concern, especially since you don''t like it. Honestly, it''s hard to ignore. If you think you can live with it, great, but definitely don''t try and convince yourself that you''ll get used to it. haha! Again, no idea how humid Dallas is.

It''s great that you''ll be able to switch after time. I think you either love this city or hate it. I happen to be the latter, which is why my post is so negative. But there''s also a lot of personal things that contribute to my dislike. I think that if you like it and you got a good vibe, this could be the place for you. If you don''t like it, try out Dallas.
But if you decide on Houston and move here quickly you might make it time for the Rodeo!!!
 

AmberGretchen

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Date: 2/4/2009 6:29:43 PM
Author: lyra
Oh dear, you''re still torn? I''d choose Dallas based on weather alone. My best friend lives in Houston. She''s had to evacuate or live through tornadoes every year. Then there''s the flood plain. I absolutely wouldn''t be able to handle the insects, spiders, snakes, rodents and other wildlife. My friend handles it all very well, but I couldn''t. I mean, she ends up squishing geckos accidentally as they try to run in her sliding door.
I love geckos, but I couldn''t stand that kind of thing. Security is a big issue for her too, although they live in a very safe newer area, it''s something she has to always be aware of. Her daughter lives in Dallas, and she lives somewhere near downtown I guess. More of a ''younger people'' type area that they love for the amenities. I think though, if you have a strong gut feeling one way or the other, then you should go with it. We had to do that when we took a job across the country in an area we were totally unfamiliar with. It turns out that job ended one year later, and where we chose to live was actually closer to where the next job came up. Everything works out. Good luck!
lyra, all of what you say is why we had been leaning so strongly towards Dallas before we went, and why I''m so torn now. It just happened that we felt a stronger connection with Houston and with the people there, hence the confusion.

I''m with you - I don''t do well with wildlife (at least not the insect variety - I''m a huge bug hater), although my kitties would probably be kind of funny to watch with a gecko
 

AmberGretchen

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Date: 2/4/2009 6:33:21 PM
Author: LaurenThePartier
Yay, Amber! I'm so glad you made it to both cities!


Honestly, from your posts, it truly sounds like Houston appeals to you more. I think the personal connections you've made with co-workers could be the deciding factor, and it would be my key deciding factor, as well.


You're right, Houston summers are horrendous, but Dallas summers aren't a whole lot better. My first visit here was in August of 1999, and it was the hottest summer on record for like 40 years, and SO humid! But, it's been mild here in recent years . . .


I suggest you go with your gut on this - everyone has a different experience in different cities, and although some people prefer Houston over Dallas, or Dallas over Houston, or Austin over both (I'm actually one of those
), you have to go with the city you feel suits you better.


And, I wouldn't overthink it. Your post lays out the important factors. Your husband seems happy to move to Houston, you've already made fast friends - your words read Houston to me.
Lauren - you're such a sweetie
I totally appreciate your thoughts - I suspect I'd be like you and prefer Austin to either one, but unfortunately the company doesn't have offices there...

I'm just so hesitant because of all that we've heard against Houston (no offense to those who like it!), but you are probably right about going with my gut and also with my connections with co-workers - the people in both places were so incredible it feels a little silly to be drawing distinctions, but then again its rare that my DH really makes a connection with anyone, much less someone whose spouse I also really like.

ETA: can I just say again what fantastic meals we had there - in Dallas we had dinner at Stephan Pyles, brunch at Toulouse, and a late lunch/snack at Bread Winners - all were excellent, especially Stephan Pyles - OMG, the service there alone was just out of this world! And in Houston, dinner at Hugo's was fantastic - really really excellent authentic Mexican food, and the service again, just incredibly wonderful.
 

AmberGretchen

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Date: 2/4/2009 7:22:59 PM
Author: luckystar112
My opinion:

I think living and working inside the loop would be great. I bet I would like Houston a lot more if that is where I lived...but I live in a northwest suburb that is nowhere near downtown. The things you listed about the area are definitely pluses...the museum district, the medical center, memorial park, etc. The downside is that the traffic pretty much sucks. If you could take the metro around that could help with that. I even have a friend who bought a scooter (JUST for neighborhood roads).

That being said, you know my opinion on the rest of the city.
I noticed the other day you mentioned something in another thread about bad drivers, and I thought ''she''s going to hate it here''. I developed a fear of driving living here because I''m convinced someone is going to kill me. I don''t take the freeways anywhere. I will take the long way even if it takes 3 hours in traffic. I''m an extreme case though.
Not sure what the driving is like in Dallas. The zoning here is pretty messed up, although not so much inside the loop I don''t think. It''s also the reason that you drive by something beautiful and then something ugly right after. lol. Personally I feel like Houston has way more ugly than pretty.


The humidity is definitely a concern, especially since you don''t like it. Honestly, it''s hard to ignore. If you think you can live with it, great, but definitely don''t try and convince yourself that you''ll get used to it. haha! Again, no idea how humid Dallas is.


It''s great that you''ll be able to switch after time. I think you either love this city or hate it. I happen to be the latter, which is why my post is so negative. But there''s also a lot of personal things that contribute to my dislike. I think that if you like it and you got a good vibe, this could be the place for you. If you don''t like it, try out Dallas.

But if you decide on Houston and move here quickly you might make it time for the Rodeo!!!
luckystar - I really really appreciate your honesty. And opinions like this from many people that we respect are part of the reason we are so torn about this decision.

I would be both living and working inside the loop. Most of the people I talked to at the company said they never go outside the loop except to go the airport (which they do pretty often, but that''s not really like you''re spending a ton of time there). So I guess that''s an advantage.

But as you say, there are plenty of downsides...
 

Gayletmom

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Hi AG. Just wanted to second the move to go with your gut. My opinion is that you can''t go wrong with trusting your instincts. It may be that you can''t exactly quantify what you prefer about what place. Sometimes these things are intangible and hard to put down on paper so you have to go with what you feel. I live in New Orleans and it''s one of those places that many people visit once, get totally smitten and never leave. Objectively, though, it looks like a silly place to live.

My vote is for Houston b/c you''ll be that much closer to my home town which is a great place to visit!

Wishing you lots of luck. Deciding between two nice cities is, as my dh says, "a high grade problem".
 

jcrow

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i agree with the others, go with your gut. i remember your thread. i think i shied away from posting because i''m very biased towards houston. i haven''t spent much time in dallas, but we frequent houston quite often. we have family there. the shopping is great. the food is pretty decent. the housing can be quite affordable. i really love it and would move there in an instant if it wouldn''t be SO large of a city.
 

meresal

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Hey Amber


You know my story... I''ve been both places, live and learn right.

I''m going to comment to your comment about price of housing. As far as Houston is concerned, inside the loop (where you were looking) is the most expensive housing in the city... whereas in Dallas, uptown is not. Yes, it is the "happenin" area to be, but what about when you have a family? Think about where you will want to move after a couple years and compare what you can get for your money. Dallas housing prices in the nicer neighborhoods will be far and above some of the nicest neighborhoods in Houston.

With that said, go with your gut. Like you said, if you don''t like one, you can move. What''s better than that?

And my personal opinion... You can''t go wrong, it''s all Texas!!!
 

elle

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Ita with going with your gut. If you remove the people you met out of the equation (because we know people are not a constant) and weigh it on the permanent factors - the weather, housing, activities, facitlities, job scope etc - would you still favour Houston?

Houston isn't THAT bad, for the heat there's a/c, for the bugs there're exterminators (I treat seasonally as prevention) and crazy drivers - well they're everywhere aren't they? I do honestly worry about the hurricanes though - the last one was too close for comfort.

Inside the loop is great if you can afford it esp if there're no kids involved. Otherwise private schools in that area can be pretty costly. Watch for flood zones before you purchase though as many owners themselves are unsure about it. Also check on fault lines. I believe there are a couple running through NW 610. They do not seem to have issue with building homes right on top of a fault which results in foundation repairs later. Older homes rule on character but unless they've been properly updated may mean expensive and extensive renos like updating electricals to copper wiring or replacing galvanised pipes to prevent flooding. Also on the lack of zoning laws, talk to people familiar with the area, one street down can mean a totally different dynamic.

Good luck with deciding! I think it's great that you actually get to pick from 2 places you like!
 

appletini

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Date: 2/4/2009 6:00:42 PM
Author:AmberGretchen
Hi all,

But we did bond a bit more with the people we met in Houston - we found them to be a touch more genuine, and just felt a stronger and deeper connection.
Maybe I''m a little biased b/c I''m a Houstonian, but this comment of yours sums up what I find to be the main difference between Houston and Dallas. Both are great places and have a lot to offer. I personally prefer Fort Worth over Dallas b/c it has small town feel but with all the big city amenities.

Whoever mentioned Houston and tornados...tornados don''t really happen here and more likely to happen in Dallas b/c Oklahoma is part of the tornado belt. Houston has hurricanes, Dallas has ice storms and large hail on occasion.

As for the heat, I have been to Dallas in the summer and found it to be just as hot and humid. So while it might not be hot and humid as Houston, either way Dallas is still going to much more hot and humid than anything you are used to.

Good Luck making your choice and remember either one is just a 4-5 hour drive or quick Southwest flight away from other.
 

fleur-de-lis

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How interesting that they flew you out to judge both cities... in the cool wintertime.


f-d-l
 

ChinaCat

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AmberGretchen-

Was wondering how your trip went! Glad it went well, though sorry you were sick.

I think you should pick Houston. Not sure if you remember, but I was one of the ones on the early thread that has lived in both and would 100% pick Dallas.

However- all of the reasons you mentioned are reasons a ton of people love Houston. Funny thing is when I posted earlier, I had a feeling you might be one of those that would prefer Houston. It takes a certain kind of person, but those people LOVE Houston and wouldn''t live anywhere else.

I live and work inside the Loop. There are some great neighborhoods. Yes, it is disgusting and humid in summer- and yes it is worse here than Dallas- but really, after a certain point humidity is humidity. And you being from California- well, you''re going to have a hard time getting used to it no matter what. To you, Dallas won''t be much better.

There are hurricanes. It sucks. Nothing you can do but evacuate all the time. You get used to it. As for outdoor rodents- I have never really noticed them at least where I live. Maybe a gecko or two- but they''re cute. I have a dog, we have to go outside every day and you just deal. There are a ton of dog parks and such though, and everyone here has a dog.

If both of your guts say Houston, then it''s a no-brainer. Plus you said you could always move if need be.

So welcome to Houston!
 

LaurenThePartier

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Date: 2/4/2009 10:17:57 PM
Author: AmberGretchen

Date: 2/4/2009 6:33:21 PM
Author: LaurenThePartier
Yay, Amber! I''m so glad you made it to both cities!


Honestly, from your posts, it truly sounds like Houston appeals to you more. I think the personal connections you''ve made with co-workers could be the deciding factor, and it would be my key deciding factor, as well.


You''re right, Houston summers are horrendous, but Dallas summers aren''t a whole lot better. My first visit here was in August of 1999, and it was the hottest summer on record for like 40 years, and SO humid! But, it''s been mild here in recent years . . .


I suggest you go with your gut on this - everyone has a different experience in different cities, and although some people prefer Houston over Dallas, or Dallas over Houston, or Austin over both (I''m actually one of those
), you have to go with the city you feel suits you better.


And, I wouldn''t overthink it. Your post lays out the important factors. Your husband seems happy to move to Houston, you''ve already made fast friends - your words read Houston to me.
Lauren - you''re such a sweetie
I totally appreciate your thoughts - I suspect I''d be like you and prefer Austin to either one, but unfortunately the company doesn''t have offices there...

I''m just so hesitant because of all that we''ve heard against Houston (no offense to those who like it!), but you are probably right about going with my gut and also with my connections with co-workers - the people in both places were so incredible it feels a little silly to be drawing distinctions, but then again its rare that my DH really makes a connection with anyone, much less someone whose spouse I also really like.

ETA: can I just say again what fantastic meals we had there - in Dallas we had dinner at Stephan Pyles, brunch at Toulouse, and a late lunch/snack at Bread Winners - all were excellent, especially Stephan Pyles - OMG, the service there alone was just out of this world! And in Houston, dinner at Hugo''s was fantastic - really really excellent authentic Mexican food, and the service again, just incredibly wonderful.
I think you guys are going to be happy wherever you go. Both cities are, at their core, incredibly similar, with large stretches of concrete, and quaint older neighbourhoods, new strip malls and cute parks, lots of nightlife and bad drivers. I don''t really feel like the people are much different either. The shallow club going group is the same in both cities, and you''ll find just as many people trying to keep up with the Joneses here and there.

I have to agree with the food, though - Hugo''s is one of my favourite places in Houston, and my sister-in-law and her husband are soon to open a restaurant down there called The Board Room, which I''m sure will also become a favourite.

Breadwinners, Stephan Pyles, and Toulouse are fantastic! If you get back to Dallas, you have to try 2900, Bolla in the Stoneleigh, and Dragonfly at Zaza. Oh, and Rise - amazing souffles!
 

bebe

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Date: 2/4/2009 11:29:09 PM
Author: meresal
Hey Amber


You know my story... I''ve been both places, live and learn right.

I''m going to comment to your comment about price of housing. As far as Houston is concerned, inside the loop (where you were looking) is the most expensive housing in the city... whereas in Dallas, uptown is not. Yes, it is the ''happenin'' area to be, but what about when you have a family? Think about where you will want to move after a couple years and compare what you can get for your money. Dallas housing prices in the nicer neighborhoods will be far and above some of the nicest neighborhoods in Houston.

With that said, go with your gut. Like you said, if you don''t like one, you can move. What''s better than that?

And my personal opinion... You can''t go wrong, it''s all Texas!!!
My thoughts exactly.

I too live in Houston. While I love the shopping, dining and culture in the downtown area and inside the loop, I wouldn''t live there with children, but I''m sure many do. The Rice U area is nice, close in, but expensive. Benjy''s was in that area AG. I live 30-45 minutes from the Galleria, but think nothing of driving down there. Houston is big and spread out but not so much you wouldn''t go. I am a native Houstonian, I''ve been through 3 Hurricanes. We''ve had high winds and fierce rain storms, but I''ve never had a tornado actually hit our home. But they do happen here. It is hot and yeah, it can be downright awful in August. But so can Dallas. I know often they are hotter than we are. Lizards? They run around my on my patio, but nothing I ever thought of as a problem.

Can you visit both cities again before you make up your mind? If not, read some more about the 2 and just go with your gut.
 

curiopotter

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Hey Amber,

Don''t over think it too much, you''ll enjoy either city. Just go with you gut!
 

AmberGretchen

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Date: 2/4/2009 10:52:39 PM
Author: Gayletmom
Hi AG. Just wanted to second the move to go with your gut. My opinion is that you can''t go wrong with trusting your instincts. It may be that you can''t exactly quantify what you prefer about what place. Sometimes these things are intangible and hard to put down on paper so you have to go with what you feel. I live in New Orleans and it''s one of those places that many people visit once, get totally smitten and never leave. Objectively, though, it looks like a silly place to live.


My vote is for Houston b/c you''ll be that much closer to my home town which is a great place to visit!


Wishing you lots of luck. Deciding between two nice cities is, as my dh says, ''a high grade problem''.
Gayle - I''ve never been to New Orleans, but I''ve always wanted to go. I might have to see if I can get assigned to a project of some kind there - my company works all over the place, and if the client is in a different city I''d spend 2-4 days a week there and have the option of coming home on weekends or flying my DH to visit me. I''m sure even if I don''t work there I will make time to visit though - its always seemed like such a cool place
 

AmberGretchen

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Date: 2/4/2009 11:23:00 PM
Author: jcrow
i agree with the others, go with your gut. i remember your thread. i think i shied away from posting because i''m very biased towards houston. i haven''t spent much time in dallas, but we frequent houston quite often. we have family there. the shopping is great. the food is pretty decent. the housing can be quite affordable. i really love it and would move there in an instant if it wouldn''t be SO large of a city.
Thanks jcrow - I really do appreciate your opinion. Its good to know that you like Houston so much and make time to visit there. It did seem very large when we were driving in from the airport, but the area inside the loop felt pretty manageable. Then again, I''m definitely a city person more than a suburban person...
 

AmberGretchen

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Date: 2/4/2009 11:29:09 PM
Author: meresal
Hey Amber



You know my story... I''ve been both places, live and learn right.


I''m going to comment to your comment about price of housing. As far as Houston is concerned, inside the loop (where you were looking) is the most expensive housing in the city... whereas in Dallas, uptown is not. Yes, it is the ''happenin'' area to be, but what about when you have a family? Think about where you will want to move after a couple years and compare what you can get for your money. Dallas housing prices in the nicer neighborhoods will be far and above some of the nicest neighborhoods in Houston.


With that said, go with your gut. Like you said, if you don''t like one, you can move. What''s better than that?


And my personal opinion... You can''t go wrong, it''s all Texas!!!
Thanks Meresal - those are really good points you make. For us, we really don''t see having kids for at least 5-7 years, and possibly not at all, so I''m less concerned with that. But that is a good point about maybe some of the nicer, closer-in, more settled areas of Houston being less expensive, because we would consider buying a house if we plan to stay there after the first year or so, and I liked the look of the older neighborhoods inside the loop (Upper Kirby/River Oaks, and also Montrose I thought was nice).

And you are completely right - we can always move, whether to the other city in Texas or someplace else altogether. Part of me stresses about the uncertainty, but part of me thinks its incredibly cool that I''ll be working for a company that could send me almost anywhere in the world for a year or more if that''s what DH and I decide we want
 

AmberGretchen

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Date: 2/5/2009 1:13:10 AM
Author: elle
Ita with going with your gut. If you remove the people you met out of the equation (because we know people are not a constant) and weigh it on the permanent factors - the weather, housing, activities, facitlities, job scope etc - would you still favour Houston?


Houston isn''t THAT bad, for the heat there''s a/c, for the bugs there''re exterminators (I treat seasonally as prevention) and crazy drivers - well they''re everywhere aren''t they? I do honestly worry about the hurricanes though - the last one was too close for comfort.


Inside the loop is great if you can afford it esp if there''re no kids involved. Otherwise private schools in that area can be pretty costly. Watch for flood zones before you purchase though as many owners themselves are unsure about it. Also check on fault lines. I believe there are a couple running through NW 610. They do not seem to have issue with building homes right on top of a fault which results in foundation repairs later. Older homes rule on character but unless they''ve been properly updated may mean expensive and extensive renos like updating electricals to copper wiring or replacing galvanised pipes to prevent flooding. Also on the lack of zoning laws, talk to people familiar with the area, one street down can mean a totally different dynamic.


Good luck with deciding! I think it''s great that you actually get to pick from 2 places you like!
Thanks elle - that''s good to know about the fault lines. Being from Northern California, I know all about fault lines


Also a good point about old houses - I don''t think we''re at the point of being settled enough to buy yet, but I do think about it and that''s certainly important to keep in mind, I don''t think I have enough patience at this point to deal with extensive renovations, even if they were affordable...I''ve seen some beautiful listings for remodeled places though, and I know a lot of the people who work for my company down there have gotten houses like that, where the exterior still has the character, but they still get upgraded interiors with no major renovation or anything like that.
 

AmberGretchen

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Date: 2/5/2009 1:42:31 AM
Author: rockzilla
nothing to add except...


CALIFORNIA is gonna MISS YOU!!!



Awww...I''m going to miss California, and especially all my wonderful friends here
But its really good to know that if we want/need to move back in 2 years, they will make that happen
In the meantime you better believe I''ll give priority to projects that staff out on the West Coast
 

AmberGretchen

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Date: 2/5/2009 11:15:48 AM
Author: appletini
Date: 2/4/2009 6:00:42 PM

Author:AmberGretchen

Hi all,


But we did bond a bit more with the people we met in Houston - we found them to be a touch more genuine, and just felt a stronger and deeper connection.
Maybe I''m a little biased b/c I''m a Houstonian, but this comment of yours sums up what I find to be the main difference between Houston and Dallas. Both are great places and have a lot to offer. I personally prefer Fort Worth over Dallas b/c it has small town feel but with all the big city amenities.


Whoever mentioned Houston and tornados...tornados don''t really happen here and more likely to happen in Dallas b/c Oklahoma is part of the tornado belt. Houston has hurricanes, Dallas has ice storms and large hail on occasion.


As for the heat, I have been to Dallas in the summer and found it to be just as hot and humid. So while it might not be hot and humid as Houston, either way Dallas is still going to much more hot and humid than anything you are used to.


Good Luck making your choice and remember either one is just a 4-5 hour drive or quick Southwest flight away from other.
Thanks for the input appletini - its good to hear that you live in Houston and like it. I think it would be really fun to have a GTG and meet all the Houston PSers if that''s where I end up


You (and others) make a good point about the humidity and heat being much more than I''m used to in either city - San Francisco doesn''t exactly get hot and humid...umm...ever, so that will definitely be an adjustment. But there''s always a/c and honestly other than walking the dog I don''t know that we''ll be outside all that much.
 

AmberGretchen

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Messages
7,770
Date: 2/5/2009 1:24:00 PM
Author: fleur-de-lis
How interesting that they flew you out to judge both cities... in the cool wintertime.



f-d-l
Hehe - I thought of that, but its more of a timing thing than anything. Its standard practice to fly people with offers from the company to the city their future office will be in to get to know the people and the area. I just got to visit both because I have the choice and am undecided between them. And the timing of my offer really dictated the trip timing more than anything, but it was really cold in Dallas when we were there - I was surprised, it really felt icy, which I don''t think I was expecting!
 

AmberGretchen

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Date: 2/5/2009 2:51:32 PM
Author: ChinaCat
AmberGretchen-


Was wondering how your trip went! Glad it went well, though sorry you were sick.


I think you should pick Houston. Not sure if you remember, but I was one of the ones on the early thread that has lived in both and would 100% pick Dallas.


However- all of the reasons you mentioned are reasons a ton of people love Houston. Funny thing is when I posted earlier, I had a feeling you might be one of those that would prefer Houston. It takes a certain kind of person, but those people LOVE Houston and wouldn''t live anywhere else.


I live and work inside the Loop. There are some great neighborhoods. Yes, it is disgusting and humid in summer- and yes it is worse here than Dallas- but really, after a certain point humidity is humidity. And you being from California- well, you''re going to have a hard time getting used to it no matter what. To you, Dallas won''t be much better.


There are hurricanes. It sucks. Nothing you can do but evacuate all the time. You get used to it. As for outdoor rodents- I have never really noticed them at least where I live. Maybe a gecko or two- but they''re cute. I have a dog, we have to go outside every day and you just deal. There are a ton of dog parks and such though, and everyone here has a dog.


If both of your guts say Houston, then it''s a no-brainer. Plus you said you could always move if need be.


So welcome to Houston!
Thanks ChinaCat
I love your attitude about all of it - I think I''m similar, generally pretty matter-of-fact and practical about most things. I think the only thing that worries me in everything you said (aside from what I mentioned in my original post
) is the idea of evacuating with a dog and three cats...now that will be one unhappy and crowded carful
 

AmberGretchen

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Messages
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Date: 2/5/2009 5:26:49 PM
Author: LaurenThePartier
Date: 2/4/2009 10:17:57 PM

I think you guys are going to be happy wherever you go. Both cities are, at their core, incredibly similar, with large stretches of concrete, and quaint older neighbourhoods, new strip malls and cute parks, lots of nightlife and bad drivers. I don''t really feel like the people are much different either. The shallow club going group is the same in both cities, and you''ll find just as many people trying to keep up with the Joneses here and there.


I have to agree with the food, though - Hugo''s is one of my favourite places in Houston, and my sister-in-law and her husband are soon to open a restaurant down there called The Board Room, which I''m sure will also become a favourite.


Breadwinners, Stephan Pyles, and Toulouse are fantastic! If you get back to Dallas, you have to try 2900, Bolla in the Stoneleigh, and Dragonfly at Zaza. Oh, and Rise - amazing souffles!
Thanks Lauren - you make such excellent points. And I can totally tell you guys are foodies like us


I will probably spend a fair bit of time in both cities, no matter where I end up being based out of - the company has clients in both places and you mostly work where the client is. Funny you should mention Dragonfly at Zaza - that''s where they put me up when I flew out for my interview - the hotel was super nice, but the decor was a little weird...I think I texted one of my friends that it reminded me of a bordello
The one in Houston might have been weirder though - its really a tough call (they put us up there on this most recent trip - in Dallas we stayed at the Crescent but we hardly spent any time there).

But I remember noticing that the restaurant was really nice, and I had a very nice dinner there the night before my interview - very relaxing, and super tasty, and they were so nice to me while I was on crutches (I tore up my ankle about 2 weeks prior to my interview - talk about bad timing!!).

I''ll definitely keep an eye out for your SIL and brother''s restaurant opening - I will have to try that for sure, DH and I love going out to eat. I was super impressed with Hugo''s - I''m a vegetarian and they were so accommodating, which I wasn''t expecting at all, but the food was excellent and the company was just so lovely - I think we spent a good 3.5 hours over dinner both there and at Stephan Pyles, and the service didn''t falter once in either place.


I have a feeling I''ll really enjoy trying lots of restaurants in both cities no matter what - there are lots of company excuses for dinner out, so lots of opportunities
 

AmberGretchen

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Messages
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Date: 2/5/2009 5:45:36 PM
Author: bebe
Date: 2/4/2009 11:29:09 PM

My thoughts exactly.



I too live in Houston. While I love the shopping, dining and culture in the downtown area and inside the loop, I wouldn''t live there with children, but I''m sure many do. The Rice U area is nice, close in, but expensive. Benjy''s was in that area AG. I live 30-45 minutes from the Galleria, but think nothing of driving down there. Houston is big and spread out but not so much you wouldn''t go. I am a native Houstonian, I''ve been through 3 Hurricanes. We''ve had high winds and fierce rain storms, but I''ve never had a tornado actually hit our home. But they do happen here. It is hot and yeah, it can be downright awful in August. But so can Dallas. I know often they are hotter than we are. Lizards? They run around my on my patio, but nothing I ever thought of as a problem.


Can you visit both cities again before you make up your mind? If not, read some more about the 2 and just go with your gut.
Thanks bebe - we did visit both cities, and liked Houston better in person but had heard better things about Dallas before going, hence the being so torn about the decision.

We''ve currently got no plans for kids, so inside the loop sounds like the best fit for us - plus I''ll be working there when I''m in the home office, and I''m not a huge fan of long commutes, especially on Fridays.

That''s good to know that the shopping is good at the Galleria though - good shopping is a must for both me and DH - we both definitely have a bad habit there


When we got a driving tour of Houston I also thought the area near Benjy''s and Rice U was pretty - Rice itself is lovely, lots of trees which I really liked. DH is thinking of going back to school at some point and would probably consider doing it there - they have good graduate programs in what he would want to study.
 

AmberGretchen

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 6, 2005
Messages
7,770
Date: 2/5/2009 7:39:09 PM
Author: curiopotter
Hey Amber,


Don''t over think it too much, you''ll enjoy either city. Just go with you gut!
Thanks curio - I''m sure you are right. Its a privilege to have a choice, and DH and I have definitely discussed that there isn''t a bad choice here, and we''re very lucky for that


Unfortunately I''m constitutionally unable to not overthink things - I just can''t seem to help it, I''m an overanalyzer. But I''m sure you are completely right - there are so many things going for us in either place we are unlikely to be unhappy wherever we end up, and that''s a comforting thought if nothing else
 

ChinaCat

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Joined
Aug 17, 2007
Messages
1,829
AmberGretchen-

RE: Evacuating: I've been here for almost 2 years and haven't ever evacuated. When Ike hit we were actually in California for the weekend so we missed it. My dog was back in Houston and I panicked- but luckily the owners stayed with the dogs and they were in the safest place. Our place didn't even lose any power.

Point is, you learn when to take it seriously and when to just stay put. It's not as bad as it seems, it just gets inconvenient. And if you live inside the Loop, just make sure you live in a place that doesn't generally flood.

I have never done a GTG and am normally hesitant to do so, but I feel the Houston PS'ers should definitely get together and welcome you to Texas!

Btw, totally jealous that your company could possibly send you anywhere in the world for a year!!!!

ETA: Lauren, please keep us posted as to when your family's restaurant is opening. I am always on the lookout for great new restaurants. We will definitely check it out! Though it sounds familiar, I might have read about it somewhere.
 
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