Moving Overseas

Moving to Houston

Moving to Houston

Are you moving to Houston in the USA?

Crown are an international moving company specialising in storage, overseas moving, movers insurance, relocation services and lots more. We will even relocate your vehicle and pets!

Our team is available to answer any relocation questions you may have. They can be reached between 8:00 am and 5:30 pm from Monday to Friday on 0508 227 696 or email nz@crownrelo.com

About

The home of NASA's Mission Control Center, Houston is the fourth-largest city in the United States of America, with an estimated population of some 2.2 million. It’s said there’s no place quite like Houston with its mix of world-class arts, booming business, professional sports teams and award-winning cuisine.

Houston’s development was due to its role as a transport hub through the Port of Houston and the railways for the region’s cotton and timber products and at the turn of the 20th century, the discovery of oil in 1901 helped transform the city. From the mid-twentieth century onwards Houston became the home of the Texas Medical Center (the world's largest concentration of health-care and research institutions), and the Johnson Space Center where the NASA's Mission Control Center is located.

Houston has a seven-mile (11kms) system of air-conditioned tunnels and skywalks linking the downtown shops and restaurants, allowing pedestrians to avoid the intense summer heat and heavy rain. Today Houston is a reflection of its tremendous post-War growth. Older downtown buildings are dwarfed by the modern office towers that define the city skyline.

As one of the few American cities with a professional symphony orchestra and resident professional companies in ballet, opera and theatre, the downtown theatre district is home to arts. The Houston region and 24 surrounding counties possess striking natural beauty, unique biodiversity and globally important ecological resources.

The world’s first domed and air-conditioned sports stadium, the Astrodome is in Houston and until 1999 was home to the city’s professional baseball team the ‘Astros’ and the annual Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is the world’s largest. Close to the city are a number of lakes, wildlife refuges and Galveston Island beaches, as well as an arboretum in the city and the Sam Houston National Forest to the north, all of which provide outdoor recreational opportunities. The Armand Bayou Nature Center preserves wetlands prairie, forest, and marsh habitats of the Texas Gulf Coast. The city is also home to the Downtown Aquarium, Houston Zoo, Houston Museum of Natural Science, the Museum of Fine Arts and of course, NASA's Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, one of the few places on earth you can see moon rocks. For more details of the city and its attractions visit the official tourist website at www.visithoustontexas.com

Visas/Permits

New Zealanders moving to Houston need an Immigrant Visa to be able to live in the USA, and details of how to obtain one, can be found at the United States Diplomatic Mission to New Zealand’s website.

Money

The official currency of the United States of America is the US Dollar, and shops and service providers will only accept the US Dollar. Coins come in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 cent, and notes in $1, 2, $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 bills.

Before you move it’s helpful to set up a US bank account before relocating to the country. This makes it easy for converted money to be transferred straight in to your account, as well as minimising the need to carry cash while travelling. There are many banks in San Francisco who offer an on-line sign-up service.

The best way to convert large sums of money is through online transfer companies, who provide a much cheaper rate. Crown has entered into a partnership with NZForex to provide an easy, reliable and cost effective solution for clients who are moving their funds internationally. The deals offered by NZForex are at super competitive exchange rates and in most cases there's no fee. The cost structure is so good that the saving you make may even pay for the entire cost of your relocation. Click here for more information.

Transport

Houston has an excellent public transport system, incorporating buses and light rail, details of all these options can found at www.ridemetro.org

If you do choose to drive in Houston, the first point to bear in mind is that in the US, they drive on the opposite side of the road to that in New Zealand. For those planning to live in Houston, then a car will be useful, but when it comes to commuting, the public transport system is again recommended.

You can drive in the US on a NZ driver’s licence, but only for a short period, and the US Embassy in New Zealand recommends that you apply for an International Driver Permit, and if staying in the US, you should apply for a US driving licence.

Houston’s main airport is the George Bush Intercontinental Airport, and there are two other airports, the William P Hobby Airport and Ellington Airport, between the three of them, services are available not only to most cities across the USA, but around the world.

Education

There are ten universities in the city, and many more colleges of higher education. Most expatriates choose to enrol their children in private or independent schools, this is because state schools are generally based on ‘catchment areas’.

The school year begins in September and ends in June, typical school-days run Monday-Friday from 8.30am to 3pm, although this can depend upon the age of the children. Students generally travel to school by car with their parents, or in some cases, take the school bus (the bright yellow ones you see in the movies), others will cycle or walk.

Crown can arrange an appointment with a Specialist Education consultant who can provide an in-depth explanation of local education systems, the curricula available and arranging interviews, as well as assist with enrolment requirements. Please contact us for information and rates.

Health

America has a public health-care system, called Medicare, but most people take out private insurance as well. If the insurance company you were with in New Zealand is a member of the International Federation of Health Funds, you may be able to transfer your policy to the USA without penalty - at a similar level of cover. Check with your insurance provider for details or visit www.ifhp.com

Accommodation

When choosing where to live in Houston, the deciding factor for expats is normally how close you need to be to your work or your children’s school. The cost of accommodation and commuting to work are also significant considerations.

Rather than purchasing a home, most expatriates choose to rent, at least at first. This is because house (and apartment) prices in Houston are expensive. Looking for a home in Houston can quite often be a daunting task, and Crown can advise on rental accommodation or purchasing properties, and can also arrange for temporary accommodation.

Networking

Houston’s position as an internationally-recognised centre of commerce means that you are bound to meet people from all walks of life. Expatriates commonly assimilate into the community through the sports and hobbies they are interested in. The business environment that Houston is famous for provides numerous opportunities to meet new people. Social media is also a great way to get to know like-minded people.

Next Steps

Crown Relocations has 50 years of international moving experience relocating individuals and families to Houston and throughout the USA, contact us today for more information about our services.

To arrange a moving quote call our office Free on 0508 227 696, get an online Ballpark estimate, complete our Home Visit Request or get a Full Quote or email us now at nz@crownrelo.com

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