With a beautiful seaside location, welcoming locals, and a thriving sense of community, Galveston is easily one of the best places to live in Texas. After all, where else can you enjoy everyday life against the backdrop of Gulf Coast paradise?
One of the most common questions prospective residents have about this coastal community is: is it expensive to live in Galveston?
Although you might expect beachside living to come with a hefty price tag, the cost of living in Galveston is surprisingly affordable.
What is the average cost of living in Galveston, TX?
Comparing the Galveston cost of living to the national average, this Texas town is ahead. The cost of living in Galveston, TX, is 10% lower than the US average cost of living, ranking it as one of the most accessible places for budget-friendly living. Even better, Galveston has a lower cost of living than many other cities in Texas.
When the cost of living is calculated, a variety of factors are considered, including average expenses for:
- Goods and services
We’ll take a closer look at each of these, making it easy to plan and budget for a future as a Galveston resident.
Housing Costs in Galveston
Currently, the Galveston housing market is in the “sweet spot” of supply and demand. As new people relocate to the city, they can generally find a wide range of housing options.
More than half of Galveston homes are renter-occupied, so you won’t be limited when it comes to finding the perfect rental home. There are plenty of single-family homes for rent in Galveston, including brand-new builds in luxury communities.
Overall, Galveston housing costs are almost 10% lower than the national average (about 2% lower than the state average). Although the median home cost is somewhat higher than homes for sale across Texas, monthly rent is comparatively affordable. For this and other reasons, many residents opt to rent vs. buy.
The average rent in Galveston ranges from $900 (for a studio apartment) to $1965 (for a four-bedroom residence). It’s less expensive than what you’ll find in the Houston-Woodlands-Sugarland Metro Area and on par with the Texas average.
Food Costs in Galveston
Whether you’re grocery shopping or dining out, Galveston food costs are also less than the national average. Like any US city, prices rise and fall with the local, state, and national economy. Galveston is nearly always far more affordable when put alongside costs in other similarly-sized cities.
Some examples of average food prices include:
- A half-gallon of milk: $1.42
- A large pizza: $8.99
- A loaf of bread: $3.26
Galveston restaurants serve a delicious variety of affordable dining options, so you won’t have to break your budget to enjoy a meal out. There are quick, inexpensive cafes where you can grab a bite or higher-end restaurants for a special occasion.
Utility Costs in Galveston
How much do utilities cost in Galveston? As you would expect, that will largely depend on your personal use and location. For example, a family of four will have a higher utility bill than someone living alone.
But in general, Galveston utility costs are significantly lower than the national average. For example, energy bills are about 13% less expensive.
Plan for a higher energy bill during the summer, when temperatures average in the 80s. However, mild winters usually mean that your energy costs (particularly for heating) will be fairly low.
Transportation Costs in Galveston
In Galveston, affordable transportation is the norm. You can look forward to spending about 22% less here than you would in other US cities. It’s not unusual for locals to commute into nearby cities for work and play alike, but you can also stay on the island if you prefer.
Public transit in Galveston is a convenient option and popular with residents and visitors. The primary provider is Island Transit, which manages the Galveston Island Trolley. There are also numerous fixed-route bus services on weekdays and weekends.
Healthcare Costs in Galveston
Healthcare is one of the very few costs of living categories in which Galveston ends up being slightly more expensive than the national average – but not by much. You’ll generally pay about 1% more for healthcare in Galveston, including preventative, specialist, and emergency care. A typical doctor’s visit costs around $110, while medicine cabinet staples (like cold medicine) are right on target, with the national average of $8 to $10.
There are several teaching hospitals in the area and an array of primary care providers. Additionally, if you require specialist care that isn’t easily accessible directly in town, you’re just a short drive away from the Houston metropolitan area.
Goods and Services Costs in Galveston
Because Galveston is a relatively small town, goods and services can come at a marginally higher cost when compared to larger cities. On a positive note, you’ll have access to an outstanding variety of small and local businesses in the area.
Lifestyle costs like a gym membership tend to be on the higher end of the spectrum, totaling an average of around $60 per month. But a basic haircut will cost you less than $20, and catching a movie at the local theater is usually under $10. For families, daycare or preschool costs are slightly higher than the national average.
Taxes in Galveston
In Galveston, sales tax is 8.25% (6.25% state and 2% city tax). The state of Texas also has a handful of tax-free weekends throughout the year, so you can save a significant amount of money if you schedule your big-ticket purchases accordingly.
There is no individual state income tax, so you’ll typically end up with more “take-home pay” than you would elsewhere. For many, this is one of the biggest benefits of moving to Galveston (and Texas as a whole).
How much do I need to earn to live in Galveston?
The Galveston median household income is just over $49,000, which can be helpful to gauge how much money you need to make to live comfortably. Remember that your spending habits, lifestyle, and where you choose to live will majorly affect the income you need.
According to the MIT Living Wage Calculator, a single adult (with no children) should aim to make around $35,000 per year, before taxes, to live comfortably. As you would expect, this estimate increases as your household grows. So, a family of four (two working adults and two children) needs around $93,000 combined income.
Find Homes for Rent in Galveston, TX Today
Are you moving to Galveston? Or maybe you’re already a local and searching for a new rental home in the area. At Wan Bridge’s Palm Bay Galveston, rental homes are specifically designed and built with tenants’ needs in mind.
With a scenic location on the edge of Lake Como, our rental community features nearly 100 newly-constructed single-family homes. Just minutes away from Galveston Country Club and Galveston State Park, Palm Bay Galveston puts you within easy reach of some of the city’s best things to see and do. The spacious residences within this Wan Bridge build-to-rent community are inspired by the classic resort style of the Gulf Coast, boasting open floor plans, upgraded features and finishes, and hassle-free maintenance managed by our professional team.
If you’re ready to discover a fabulous place to call home, our Galveston homes for rent could be the perfect match. For more information about available rentals, contact Wan Bridge today.
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