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What It’s Like to Live in Katy

What It’s Like to Live in Katy

Deep inside the heart of Greater Houston lies Katy – a suburban community with a rich history and pretty sights. 

Fun fact: Academy Award winner Renee Zellweger and American Idol finalist Kimberly Caldwell are Katy residents! Also, Former NBA legend Yao Ming used to have a home in Katy before he sold his place in 2012 to move back to his hometown in China.

If you want to live in this small suburb, then let’s learn more about Katy and what makes it so special.

What is Katy?

Katy, Texas (or just Katy) is a suburb that’s located west of Houston, and is considered to be a part of the Greater Houston area. It is also at the center of what’s known as the Greater Katy. 

This small city has its roots as a railroad town, situated along the Missouri–Kansas–Texas (MKT) Railroad. Katy’s unique name comes from being designated as the KT Stop along the route.  

Since the surrounding area benefited from the floodplains of Buffalo Bayou, early settlers flocked here to try their hand at planting rice. However, the rapid development of nearby Houston, ultimately contributed to Katy’s rapid development. 

Although Katy is often shrouded by Houston’s urban sprawl, there are still plenty of things this small city is known for. So let’s find out more below!

What’s life like in Katy?

Katy might be a small city, but it has a booming economy, good schools, and notable neighborhoods. It’s a family friendly place with plenty of activities to enjoy.

Katy has a small area and population

With a population of 28,117, Katy is by far one of Houston’s least populated areas. They place 127th among all Texas cities, which isn’t surprising since some publications, like Chron, still consider Katy as a “small suburb”.

Katy is on the smaller side compared to other Houston cities, with a land area of 14.54 mi². To put that into perspective, the neighboring Sugarland area is significantly bigger, with a land area of 40.48 mi².

Smaller size aside though, Katy has faced consistent population growth over the years as well, with a consistent rate of 25.18% growth rate since 2020. 

However, what Katy lacks in their population is diversity. Katy is still a predominantly white neighborhood, with 57.4% of their population being of Hispanic descent as of 2022.

Katy has hot summers and cold winters

Katy is still a part of Houston – which means that the unbearable summer heat is pretty much expected. 

Summers in Katy can be extremely hot. 2023’s summer season (June – August) reached 100°F (37.8°C),  with temperatures in August reaching 110°F (43.3°C). This is noticeably hotter than 2022 and 2021, where peak temperatures only hit 105°F (40.5°C).

Katy has hot summers and cold winters - 2
Katy has hot summers and cold winters - 3

Graph 1: Katy, Houston temperatures in 2023.

Graph 2: Katy, Houston temperatures in 2022:

Source:  WeatherSpark

Their winter season is also noticeably short, ranging from December to February. December 2022 has also reached the lowest temperature of 23°F. 

Katy Independent School District (ISD) has lot of good schools

Most people know Katy for the Katy Independent School District (ISD), which has been ranked #169th Best School District in all of America, along with boasting several kid-and-family friendly fun spots, too.

Katy also has plenty of schools in their own district area as well. As of data procured from the school years of 2019 – 2020 and 2020 – 2021, Katy Independent School District (ISD) has 74 schools with 88,368 students. 

Katy ISD has also seen consistent growth when it comes to enrollment rate, with a 12,940 student gain since 2016. They foresee these numbers to increase to 107,357 by 2032.

The schools are also top-tier too, since Niche.com, a reputable source of information about schools that use data directly from the US Department of Education, has rated three schools within Katy ISD as some of the best in Houston. 

The British International School of Houston ranked as the 9th best private school in the Houston area. Meanwhile, Seven Lakes High School and Obra D. Tompkins High School also placed 3rd and 4th respectively in Niche’s list of the best public schools.

Both Seven Lakes High School and Obra D. Tompkins High School also hold a national ranking of #336 and #532 respectively among all schools in the United States.

Katy ISD also provides comprehensive scholarship programs, which have greatly helped students get the education they need. In fact, 28.8% of the students enrolled within Katy ISD are economically disadvantaged.

Katy has a competitive housing market

Katy’s median property value is 1.18% higher compared to the national average in 2021. This means that Katy homes have a higher average homeownership rate of 82.2% in 2021, far surpassing nearby areas like Sugarland (81.2%). 

This is mainly because, when compared to Sugarland, housing costs in Katy are approximately 12.8% less too. This is because Katy’s house prices come out to an average of $435,500, compared to Sugarland’s $423,600.

The lower price also means that Katy homes sell faster too. Days on which Katy homes are on the market have fallen to 48 days in January 2024, which is 9 days less when compared to figures from the previous year.

This is a surprise since Katy’s house prices are still higher compared to Texas homes’ average cost. This is because the average price of homes in Texas costs $338,000 in 2024, which is higher than the average in Katy ($435,000).

Katy’s economy shows an upward trend

Katy’s economy has seen an upward trend– data has suggested that the median income for Katy’s residents has risen from $87,719 in 2020 to $115,250 in 2021. This equates to a massive 32.2% increase in a single year.

The economic boom also means that Katy has a significantly lower poverty rate of 3.49% as well. This is significantly lower than both Texas’ and the United States’ average poverty rate as well (14% for Texas, and 12.4% for the United States).

However, although Katy’s economy is showing an upward trend, economists have predicted that it’s slowing down mainly due to inflation, along with the upward trend of the interest rates that everyone in the country has been facing consistently.

Image ideas:

  • Katy residents shopping
  • Katy residents looking for houses
Katy has a low cost of living

As mentioned earlier, Katy’s economy is facing an upward trend – which also means that their cost of living is significantly lower compared to other areas in Houston. On average, Katy’s cost of living is 6% less than the national average.

This is the case even when the prices of some essential household items, like milk and bread, cost $.03 higher on average compared to the entire US. Katy’s energy bills also cost $4.3 more compared to the national average as well.

However, where Katy makes up for it is with their mortgage and electricity bills. On average, Katy’s mortgage and rent costs at least $100 less compared to US prices, which averages out the living cost.

Katy has a good job market.

With Katy’s low unemployment rate and high household median income, the job market is on a consistent upward boom as well.  The average household income for Katy homes has gone up from $115,250 in 2021 to $147,414 in 2024.

Nurse jobs take the top spot of the most-paid jobs in Katy by far, However, websites like Indeed and LinkedIn have shown that employers are also looking for clerical and IT services as well.

However, as mentioned earlier, Katy is still only a couple of minutes away from Houston’s city proper. This means that you wouldn’t have to travel as far if you’ve found a job Downtown.

Katy has notable neighborgoods

Although Katy is smaller than other Houston cities, it’s also home to several note-worthy neighborhoods. The most significant neighborhoods are Falcon Point, Memorial Parkway, Cinco Ranch, and Windsor Park Estates for a more upscale community. 

Falcon Point is conveniently located near the I-10, which makes commute time to Houston’s mainland significantly faster. It’s also near some noteworthy schools like Katy High, which has ranked #5 in Katy ISD and #202 among all Texas High Schools.

If you’re looking for a Palm Springs vibe, then Memorial Parkway is a good choice. It’s surrounded by mature oak trees with a peaceful atmosphere. Modern amenities like Whole Foods and Kroger are easily accessible from the neighborhood, too..

Cinco Ranch is more of a casual place to stay and is also located near notable tourist sights like LaCenterra and Katy Heritage Museum. Their homes sell relatively faster compared to other homes too, with homes going for pending in 13 days.

Windsor Park Estates is a more upscale neighborhood with posh homes and a gated community. To put that to perspective, the average prices of their home costs 3 – 5 times more compared to Katy’s average, ranging from $650,000 to $1.6 million each.

Katy has an excellent healthcare system

Katy also has access to a world-class healthcare system! 2 of Houston’s 5 largest healthcare systems are in Katy. 

Memorial Hermann has two centers in Katy, one being a general hospital and the other is a rehabilitation center focused on patient recovery.

Katy is also the home to Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus. The hospital has been considered a Trauma Level I Pediatric center, which means that they can help kids in critical and in emergencies.

That being said though, some of their regular hospitals also offer a good system as well, Most of them, like HCA Houston Healthcare North Cypress, are open 24/7, which means that anyone can access them in emergencies.

Things to Do in Katy

Things to Do in Katy

With Katy being so near Houston’s city center, there are also plenty of activities for you to do as well. Places like Katy Mills, Katy Heritage Museum, and Typhoon Texas Waterpark are only a couple of minutes away from Katy too, which makes it convenient.

Go Shopping at Katy Mills

Katy Mills is a mall that has everything, with plenty of dining and major stores available inside. A little tip from us for military veterans, you can still get a military discount even if there are no stars in their windows.

Learn More about History at the Katy Heritage Museum

If you want to learn more about Katy and its history, then the Katy Heritage Museum will be your way to go since it’s only a 15-minute drive away if you’re from Cinco Ranch or Memorial Parkway if you take the I-10.

Splash Around at Katy’s Typhoon Texas Waterpark

Katy’s Typhoon Texas Waterpark is massive, with raft slides, lazy rivers, and a 25,000-square-foot wave pool that both kids and adults will enjoy. They’ve also built a $4 million interconnected water park for kids that’s well-guarded as well.

Visit a good variety of restaurants

Visit a good variety of restaurants

Katy doesn’t fall short of restaurants you can visit, too! You can take your pick of breakfast brunch spots, Mexican restaurants, and even upscale dining, and you’ll find them somewhere in Katy. 

Get Healthy at Dish Society

If you’re craving a good brunch spot with farm-to-table food, then we suggest trying out Dish Society. They have plenty of food options for you to choose from (with the Dish Society Burger being the best pick for us!) along with fantastic drinks to boot.

Enjoy an Upscale Dining at The Rouxpour

There are also more upscale choices for you to consider, like The Rouxpour and their extensive wine list from countries like France, along with high-class menu items like their Charbroiled Rockefeller and Oyster Bienville. 

See plenty of parks

See plenty of parks

Although Katy’s landmass is on the smaller side compared to other cities in Houston, they still have plenty of parks that you can visit as well, with Katy Park, Willow Fork Park being the two most notable ones.

Walk With your Dogs at the Katy Dog Park

Katy Dog Park is an off-leash dog park that separates big and small dogs that’s open from 5 AM to 11 PM. What makes this dog park unique though is the large pond in the middle where your dogs can swim in! 

Enjoy Nature at the Willow Fork Park

But if you’re looking for a more traditional park where you and your loved ones can have a relaxing time, then we suggest going with Willow Fork Park for the beautiful, natural sights and the butterfly park that contains at least 60 kinds of butterflies! 

Enjoy the arts in their museums

Enjoy the arts in their museums

Katy also has plenty of museums for you to enjoy the arts, too! Although there isn’t much variety when it comes to the displays compared to Downtown and other parts of Houston, the breathtaking displays are always more than welcome sight.

See Katy’s History at The Johnny Nelson Katy Heritage Museum

If you’re looking to learn more about Katy and its long-standing history from its Cane Island days, then we suggest visiting The Johnny Nelson Katy Heritage Museum for a more in-depth look at Katy’s agricultural and pioneering history.

See Contemporary Art at The Art Museum TX

However, if you want to view contemporary art, then we suggest Art Museum TX at Cinco Ranch. They proudly showcase art made by Houston locals, and they have even displayed art in public spaces for everyone to enjoy as well.

Pay Respects at Katy War Veterans Memorial Museum

But if you’ve always wanted to pay respects to veterans, then we suggest giving Katy War Veterans Memorial Museum a visit. The giant oak tree in front of the park also has a plaque that commemorates veterans abroad.

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