The Houston metro area is not only one of the fastest-growing cities in the country, but it also houses the most ethnically diverse population in the U.S. With its family-friendly attractions, lively arts scene, vibrant culture, and thriving job market, it’s no wonder many people are flocking to Bayou City. Houston is also known for its work in the space exploration sector. Before the city became what it is today, it experienced a number of fascinating historical milestones that contributed to establishing the Houston, Texas we all know and love.
When Was Houston Founded?
Battle of Jacinto in 1836
Harrisburg became the first settlement in Houston in 1826. Ten years later, in April of 1836, it was destroyed by Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, a Mexican general who sought to overthrow General Sam Houston and the Texas army – who fought for independence from Mexico. The infamous battle took place along the bank of the San Jacinto River, which would later become the site for the city of Houston as we know it today.
The Aftermath of the Battle of Jacinto
A week later, Santa Anna was captured at the Battle of San Jacinto and Texas was finally freed. In August of 1836, two brothers and land speculators from New York, Augustus C., and John K. Allen, purchased the battle-worn town of Harrisburg. Soon after, they started an advertising campaign that showcased Harrisburg as the future “great interior commercial emporium” of Texas.
A mere two months later, John Allen appealed to the First Congress of the Republic of Texas, persuading them to move to his town – which was named after the first President of Texas, Sam Houston. While his efforts were applaud-worthy, his plea was denounced in 1839, only two years after the government relocated to the area.
Who Is Sam Houston?
Born in 1793 in Virginia, Sam Houston was a congressman, lawyer, and senator in Tennessee. He elected to move to Texas in 1832 to join the escalating conflict between the Mexican government and the U.S. settlers in the region. After becoming commander of the local army, Houston successfully led his men in the defeat of General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna during the battle at San Jacinto, effectively securing independence for Texans.
In 1836, and again in 1841, Sam Houston was elected to non-consecutive presidential terms. After Texas became a state in 1845, he served as a senator. Despite his pro-slavery stand, he firmly believed in the preservation of the Union. In 1859, he was elected governor. He fought to diffuse sectional tensions (and advance his career) through the institution of a protectorate over Mexico. His efforts were unsuccessful, as was his bid to secure the presidential nomination for the Constitutional Union’s party.
In January of 1861, despite Houston’s resistance, a state secession convention met and voted in support of Texas leaving the union. After the secession of Texas, he was removed from office for good and later retired.
What Are Some Historical Facts About Houston, Texas?
Houston Was Once the Capital of Texas
For a short period – from 1837 to 1839, Houston became the official capital of Texas. After Sam Houston’s first presidency, however, the capital was moved to Austin by Mirabeau B. Lamar.
The Chamber of Commerce in 1840
On April 4, 1840, seven businessmen from Houston came together to form the Chamber of Commerce. Houston established itself as a center of trade; most notably exporting cotton at the nearby port of Galveston. After Galveston’s port facilities were destroyed by hurricane floodwaters in 1900, Houston became the state’s leading port.
In 1840, the first dock was built on The Buffalo Bayou, which is now part of the Houston ship channel. By the early 1980s, the port (the third largest in tonnage moved in the U.S. at the time), handled over 80 million tons of coastal, foreign, and canal shipping on an annual basis. When oil was uncovered in the region in 1901, the city saw sizable industrial development – ultimately stimulating prosperity and expanding the city’s economic base, which was limited to lumber and cotton in the 19th century. Construction to build The Houston Ship Channel wrapped up in 1914, triggering the establishment of numerous refineries alongside the port in the ’20s and ’30s.
Home of the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
In 1961, Houston established the Manned Spacecraft Center, which was renamed to the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in 1973 in honor of the late President. The center has been leading space flight operations for NASA for four decades and is credited for developing, designing, and operating human space flight.
Why Live in Houston?
Great cuisine, thriving city, gorgeous weather – what more can you ask for? Houston, Texas has over 2 million residents, making it the fourth-largest city in the U.S. What’s more, over 145 different languages are spoken in Houston’s incredibly cultural and diverse metro area.
The city’s economy has continued to flourish thanks to the diversification of businesses that have laid down roots in the urban landscape. While Houston will always remain a hub for oil and energy, there has been tremendous job growth in a number of sectors, like biotechnology, healthcare, aerospace, and information technology.
Houston’s high-quality healthcare can’t be discounted either. Texas Medical Center is internationally-renowned and encompasses the largest medical center in the world – with two medical schools, 13 hospitals, and four nursing programs.
Nothing Beats the Bayou City
With its ethnically diverse population, rich culture, and abundance of economic opportunities, Houston is a highly sought-after place to lay down roots. Not only does the metro area come with some fascinating history, but it provides residents with outdoor activities, great educational systems, and a flourishing economy.
As the largest state in the continental United States, Texas is filled with big cities and iconic tourist attractions. With five of the fifteen most populated cities in the United States, it is easy to see that people enjoy Texas. From Houston to Amarillo and El Paso to Longview, there is plenty to do and to see in the over 268,000 square miles of the Lone Star State.
The capital city of Texas is a hip spot for people who love live music. Austin is known for being the Live Music Capital of the World and is the home to over 250 live-music venues. It is one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States, and for a good reason: there is a lot to do in the heart of Texas in the city that enjoys being weird.
Places to Visit and Things to do in Austin
While in Austin, there are several places to see and things to do. Of course, the city is known for hosting the ever-growing SXSW Festival, but there is more to the city than that. There are natural areas that offer recreation and relaxation, and cultural events that showcase the local treasures in the capital city. These spots include:
Zilker Metropolitan Park Attractions and Barton Springs Pool
Lady Bird Lake
Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge at dusk to see the Mexican free-tailed bats take flight
The largest city in Texas is in Houston. Like Austin, people continue to move to the city for the opportunities it offers. The Bayou City is home to world-class professional sports teams, memorable museums, and the beautiful beaches on nearby Galveston Bay. Houston is also known for being the home of Johnson Space Center and Mission Control.
Must-Visit Places in Houston
To get the most out of your time in Houston, these are some of the places tourists should see. Many of these spots are family-friendly and provide insight into the American experience in Houston.
San Antonio brings old and new Texas together in one vibrant city. It is filled with historic sites, natural beauty, and modern tourist attractions. The historic spots often bring the tourists to San Antonio, but it is the city as a whole that brings them back for more. Like Houston and Austin, San Antonio is also a growing city with many people moving in each day.
Things to do in San Antonio
The historic spots in San Antonio are the most frequently visited places in the city. But, the River Walk offers delicious food and plenty of nightlife and entertainment. These are the spots you must see when you visit the home of the Alamo.
The Alamo and the historic mission and battlefield
Pearl District and Farmers Market
San Antonio Missions National Historical Park & Mission Trail
Even though all of these cities are in the same state, they could not be more different from each other. Dallas is a massive city known for its wealth from several lucrative industries like oil and finance. In the 1970s and 80s, the popular TV show Dallas showed the world the beautiful ranches and the vibrant downtown. But the city offers so much more than oil, horses, and money. It is a city filled with history, architecture, and cultural centers.
Top Attractions in Dallas
When visiting Big D, tourists can pay homage to the 35th president. They can also see the way that nature meets innovation in local parks, museums, and architecture. Check out these places when traveling to Dallas:
At the far western side of Texas is El Paso, which was once known for being the lawless gateway to the wild west. Now, the city is a popular spot along the Rio Grande across the way from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. It is a busy port for good traveling back and forth between the two countries, and with that trade comes a vibrant culture that is unique to the city. Along with all of the features of a big city, El Paso also has a rugged mountain landscape that is ideal for outdoor activities.
What to do in El Paso
When in El Paso, take the opportunity to enjoy the Mexican and American cultural sites and sounds. With the proximity to Mexico, there is plenty to do in the city that you cannot do in other places around the United States. There are also several parks with awe-inspiring natural wonders.
Whether you visit all of the big cities in Texas in one vacation or you visit one at a time, you will not be disappointed. The five large cities in the Lone Star State offer unique opportunities that you cannot find in other cities. Texas has everything, from the modern Perot Museum in Dallas to the high-tech history at Johnson Space Center in Houston to old-world history at the Alamo in San Antonio to the awe-inspiring views of Big Bend National Park outside of El Paso. You won’t be disappointed when visiting the big cities in Texas.
New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles are some of the most well-known cities in America. Add Houston, Texas to that list. Houston is the fourth-largest city in the United States and is a must-see for any tourist. When planning your weekend getaway or a road trip around the country, be sure to include Houston in your travel plan. Named after the first and third president of the Republic of Texas, Sam Houston, this metropolitan area has a lot of activities and places to see. This article will provide you with ten must-do activities when you visit the great city of Houston.
Make Sure You Stop by the Space Center Houston
One of America’s biggest accomplishments was putting a man on the moon. So much of NASA’s history can be traced back to Texas, which makes the Space Center a must-see. As Houston’s topmost attraction, you would be missing out if you didn’t take a visit. The Space Center holds more than four hundred artifacts, with both permanent and traveling exhibits on site. You can see what the space program has accomplished and what missions they have planned for the future.
Take A Look at the Museum District
New York City may have some impressive museums, but Houston’s collection of museums is nothing to scoff at. The Museum District has nineteen museums residing in its downtown area, which makes it one of the best cultural attractions that you can be privy to. Eleven out of the nineteen museums are free to the public, so there really aren’t many excuses you can come up with as to why you can’t make it to at least one.
Time to Go to the Zoo!
The Houston Zoo should definitely be on your list of places to visit while exploring Houston, Texas. The zoo holds more than six thousand exotic and indigenous animals. For those exploring with children, the zoo has an educational center that will make the trip fun and informative for the whole family.
Catch Some Sun in Galveston
Houston is a beautiful metropolis, but even the biggest city lover needs a break from skyscrapers. This is why Galveston is a wonderful place to visit and relax. The beaches are gorgeous and the water is beautiful. Vacation is meant to be relaxing, and what’s more tranquil than lying on the warm sand or splashing in the gorgeous ocean? Take a trip to Galveston with the whole family to have a nice break while exploring the city.
Take a Trip Around the Beautiful Buffalo Bayou Park
You can walk, bike, or paddle in Buffalo Bayou Park. The park consists of one hundred and sixty acres of green, with slow-moving water at the center. It’s a calm area to really enjoy the outdoors and nature while you are in Houston. Take a break in between your city exploring to get back in touch with nature when you visit the Buffalo Bayou Park. The beauty will certainly beckon you back long after you’ve left Houston.
Make Sure to Attend a Livestock Show and Rodeo
It wouldn’t be Texas without a rodeo. The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is Houston’s biggest annual event. If you time your visit right, you can land yourself smackdab in the middle of the nineteen-day event. Taking place between February or March, enjoy the carnival, food stands, and games associated with this popular event. Of course, the main attraction is seeing cowboys in the rodeo show, which you do need tickets for.
Go to a Sports Game
Even if you aren’t the biggest sports fan, going to a live sports game is incredibly fun. Houston has football, basketball, baseball, and soccer, so there are plenty of options for you to choose from. The Toyota Center and Minute Maid Park are perfect places to visit for anyone who fancies themselves a lover of all sports.
Explore Rice University
Even if you aren’t a college student, you can gain a lot of knowledge when you take a walk through Rice University Campus. This three-hundred-acre campus holds a lot of history, as well as contemporary art on its campgrounds. Get a view of the longstanding buildings on campus and feel the history that this university possesses.
Explore the Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park
Now, this is an impressive piece of architecture. This multi-story sculptural fountain dwarves everyone as it stands sixty-four feet above you. While a waterwall park may not seem like something you’d originally put on your itinerary, this 2.77-acre park has lovely oakwood that makes it simply a beautiful park to explore. Be sure to add this on your list of places to visit when you arrive in Houston, Texas.
Deep Dive into Houston’s Dining Experience
Houston has a lot of variety of food to offer visitors. Whether you are looking for Latin American dishes, Asian cuisine, Mexican food, or even health-conscious meals, Houston has it all. Houston is nowhere to stick your nose up and the variety of food may surprise you. A few places too good not to mention are One Fifth Houston, which is a five-year project that develops unique dining concepts, such as steak and even Mediterranean. Mexican food lovers can enjoy a high-end cuisine at Xochi, which will always surprise you. No matter what you are looking for, Houston has it.
Houston, Texas will provide one of the richest experiences than any other American state has to offer. There are endless options for tourists to explore and you will simply need to keep coming back to see it all. As a multicultural city, its food, shops, and parks all display what Houston stands for. There are so many things to do, and we couldn’t even fit them all on this list. This list is just a taste of what Houston has to offer, and you may wonder why you didn’t take this trip sooner. Every moment you are there will feel like returning home, and you may never want to leave after all of the fun you have.
Houston is the fourth largest city in the U.S and the biggest city in Texas, with a population of 2.3 million people. Houston is one of the top markets in the nation for real estate investing with its diversified economy and a huge demand for housing. In 2019, the housing market Houston ended strong, and now that we’re in 2020, it continues to perform well.
Current Housing Market in Houston
COVID-19 has caused disruption in every sector, from real estate to farming and everything in between. Not only individual health has been compromised, but business health has been affected, as well. During the last week of March, the housing market also saw a small downturn compared to the rest of March’s performance.
However, there is good news for the housing market. Even though COVID-19 interrupted the regular stream of sales, Houston sales were over 11% ahead of March 2019 levels. That is excellent year-on-year growth. Given the fact that we’re dealing with sales figures during a pandemic, these numbers are very encouraging.
Why are we seeing such impressive growth during a pandemic? The federal government has lowered interest rates to the point where they are now at all-time lows. As a result, mortgage rates are also at an all-time low, and consumers are taking advantage of this fact.
So, what are the numbers we’re seeing? March numbers, according to the Update from Houston Association of Realtors, recorded 7,566 single-family homes sold in 2020 compared to 6,995 in 2019. In total, that is an 8.2% increase and nine consecutive positive months for house sales.
Stated by credit repair Houston analyst, the most purchased homes fall in the single-family category with a price range of $500,000 to $750,000 for March. Single-family homes in the range of $250,000 to $500,000 came next. Families that leased single-family homes also increased during March.
Median pricing for single-family homes rose 4.1% to $249,900, and average home prices rose 3.8% to $309,785. When it comes to home sales in March, these numbers represent the highest prices ever recorded.
Total sales for all property types equaled 8,965 for March, representing a 6.9% increase from March 2019. The total dollar amount for home sales rose 11% year-on-year to just over $2.6 billion.
Houston Housing Market Predictions for 2020
Prospective homebuyers face competition when looking to purchase low to mid-range houses for the rest of 2020. Homes priced between $150,000 to $200,000 are already in low supply, and we’re only a few months into the year.
On the upside, low-interest rates will likely remain in place for the foreseeable future. With the economic downturn due to COVID-19 and falling oil prices, Houston’s economy is facing a slowdown with the rest of the nation. However, falling interest rates and strong year-on-year growth are reasons to remain positive regarding the long-term outlook of moving to Houston.
How Does Your Credit Score Affect Loan Options and What Scores Do You Need?
When you’re looking to purchase a house, you’ll need to shop around for a mortgage. The most critical factor in getting the best mortgage rate possible from lenders is your credit score. As a rule, the higher your credit score, the better interest rates you’ll qualify for. According to David Lin, a former risk management director for Barclays and Citibank, if you have a credit score of 700 or above, you’ll be able to land a beneficial interest rate.
With scores above 720, you fall into the category of “excellent” rated credit, and you’ll have access to the best possible interest rates. A score that falls in the range of 690 to 719 is considered “good,” and at this range, you’ll still qualify for beneficial rates, though some lenders will be warier. Once you dip below 690, your options will become more limited, and if your score is around 640 or lower, a conventional mortgage might not be possible to obtain.
How to Improve Your Credit Score
If you have a credit score that needs improvement, there is good news! With time and dedication, all credit scores can be improved. So what can you do to see your score improve by ten, twenty, thirty, or one hundred points?
Here are five ways to improve your credit score:
Whether you have auto loans, credit card payments, or school bills, pay each installment on time. Lapsing at all will significantly damage your credit score. If you’ve already lapsed on one or more bills, get back on track as soon as possible. Paying your loans on time is the single most significant thing you can do to improve your credit score.
Cap Your Spending
Set a spending limit of no more than 30% of your total credit limit. For example, if you have a credit limit of $3,000 combined from your credit cards, plan to put no more than $900 total on your credit cards.
Pay Off Balances
If you have cards that have high balances, pay them down or transfer your balance to free up credit. Paying off balances will improve your credit score significantly.
Find a Mortgage within 30 Days
When you apply for mortgages, lending companies will run your credit score. Each time this happens, your score will dip slightly. Finding your mortgage within thirty days will ensure that your interest rate isn’t impacted by credit checks.
Sometimes the best thing you can do is work with a credit repair company to help improve your score. Companies can help you utilize strategies that are ideal for your specific situation.
Buy in Houston
Houston is one of the top markets for real estate. Acquiring a home in this area has lots of advantages, such as the low-interest rates for mortgages and a diverse economy in the city. Should you want to buy a house in Houston, achieving a high credit score is essential to get the lowest interest rate. We hope this article has given you an idea for improving your credit score to have a higher chance of getting the house that you want.