Compare cost-of-living stories with friends on the east or west coasts, and you’ll find that Houston is one of the cheapest big cities in the country as far as rent and real estate go. However, compared to Houston’s overall inexpensive standards, the housing market near Rice remains relatively expensive. This is because both Rice and the Medical Center are near one of Houston’s most fashionable residential areas and together they attract enough students, professionals, and other personnel to put a healthy demand on the available apartments. Thus, you may at first conclude that you, a humble and impoverished scholar, will never be able to find a place you can afford, since the fashionable and wealthy have forced the price of housing out of sight.
Deals are to be had, however. These days, rent plus utilities for an efficiency or one-bedroom apartment range from $450 to $1180 a month, and $580 to $2000 for a two-bedroom. If you’re willing to commute outside the loop, say five to ten miles west of campus, you’ll find a softer market and lower rents. Outside the 610 Loop is generally cheaper than inside the loop, but the commute will be longer. Renting a house or an apartment in a house requires more effort, but it is worth it for those who want the feel of a neighborhood. Be sure to look around; do not take the first apartment you see. There are some cheap abodes out there; just be systematic and be willing to spend at least a solid week at it.
Visit our Finding Housing in Houston page for helpful search hints, a neighborhood guide, living without a car, safety and more.