There’s no place like Texas. Life here is big and exciting – and that’s true even if you’re not moving to one of the Lone Star State’s major cities.
One of the best places to live in Texas is Sugar Land. While its name suggests a location in the Candyland board game, it’s actually one of the most affluent and fastest-growing cities in Texas. If you’re getting ready to move to Sugar Land, we’ve got all the information you need to plan your relocation and settle into your new home.
About Sugar Land
Sugar Land is a small but thriving city located in the Houston – The Woodlands – Sugar Land greater metropolitan area. As its name might tell you, it got its start as a company town.
The city’s origins date back to the original land grand given to Stephen F. Austin. One of the original settlers in this area, Samuel L. Williams, called his land “Oakland Plantation” after the many
species of oak tree on his land. He and his brother, Nathaniel, earned a living by growing cotton, corn, and sugarcane.
Colonel E.H. Cunningham bought the plantation after the Civil War ended, and the town sprang up around his sugar refining plant. By 1906, the plantation had changed hands yet again, becoming part of the Imperial Sugar Company. The company owned the town, too, and changed its name to Sugar Land. Today, the Imperial Sugar Company logo is part of the Sugar Land seal.
As of the 2010 census, the population of Sugar Land was 78,817 and growing. The population continues to increase. As we mentioned earlier, this is one of the fastest-growing cities in the state. The growth is due in part to the fact that the city of Sugar Land experienced 42% job growth between 2000 and 2007. Sugar Land has a large pool of job opportunities for registered nurses. Check out an earlier blog post of ours about nursing and other job opportunities in Sugar Land.
Unlike some other cities in Texas, Sugar Land has a sizeable Asian population – 35% according to the most recent numbers. There are also significant Latino and African American populations, making this an ethnically diverse city.
Education in Sugar Land
If you have children, you’re probably wondering about Sugar Land’s school system. Most of the students in Sugar Land are served by the Fort Bend Independent School District.
Within the Sugar Land city limits, there are dozens of elementary schools, many of which have top ratings. The city is also home to several middle schools, and two high schools. John Foster Dulles High School in Sugar Land has an exclusive Math and Science Academy for advanced students. A third high school, located in unincorporated Fort Bend County, serves some of Sugar Land’s students.
In addition to excellent public schools, Sugar Land is home to a number of private schools. There are two Catholic schools and a Baptist school, as well as some non-sectarian schools.
If you’re interested in higher education, you should know that Sugar Land is home to Wharton County Junior College, a respected community college offering associate degrees, certificate programs, and continuing education courses. Many students who attend WCJC go on to transfer to four-year colleges. Sugar Land is also home to a branch campus of the University of Houston.
Sugar Land’s Cost of Living
You might expect that the cost of living in Sugar Land would be low compared to some of the major cities in the United States. While it is certainly less expensive than New York or San Francisco, the cost of living here is about 16% higher than the national average.
By far the biggest driver of the high cost of living is housing. This is an affluent community and home prices reflect that fact. The average home cost here is more than 65% higher than the national average. Rents are similarly high, and are more expensive even than in downtown Houston.
The good news is that the sticker shock ends there. Other necessary expenses, including groceries, utilities, transportation, and healthcare, are in line with or slightly below national averages. If you can afford the housing prices, living in Sugar Land can be quite affordable.
The Climate in Sugar Land
One thing that many people like about Sugar Land is its temperate climate. The climate here is classified as humid subtropical. That means that the area has hot, humid summers and mild winters.
The average daytime temperature in the summer is 95 degrees. While it’s often sunny, the area does experience thunder on one-third to one-half of the days in the warm weather. The weather may feel hotter than the temperature indicates due to the high humidity.
In the winter months, the average temperature is a cool-but-pleasant 62 degrees. It rarely snows in this part of the country, and when it does, the snow usually melts within hours of falling and does not accumulate.
The average annual precipitation is about 48 inches – higher than the national average of 39 inches but not outrageous. Overall, the weather here is good and allows for year-round outdoor activities and low home heating bills.
Sugar Land’s Culture and Entertainment Landscape
No matter where you live, you want to know that there are things to do in your free time. Fortunately, Sugar Land has plenty to offer to keep you and your family entertained.
Let’s start with outdoor activities. Sugar Land is home to more than 25 parks. In addition to lots of beautiful green space for picnics, walks, and bike rides, there are fishing spots, playing fields, grills, and more. Sugar Land also boasts the Sugar Land Ice and Sports Center, where there’s a public skating rink and the opportunity to take hockey and figure skating lessons.
Sugar Land Town Square serves as the primary entertainment district in Sugar Land and Fort Bend County. The district offers an array of restaurants, sidewalk cafes, shopping venues, a Marriott Hotel and conference center, mid-rise offices and homes, a public plaza, and Sugar Land City Hall. Festivals and important events take place in the plaza. The new city hall and public plaza, a cornerstone of Sugar Land Town Square, received the “Best Community Impact” award from the Houston Business Journal at the fifth annual Landmark Awards ceremony.
Planning Your Move to Sugar Land
As you plan your move to Sugar Land, there are some important things to remember. Some are common sense issues that would apply to any move, while others are specific to Sugar Land.
The first thing to do is to choose your moving date and – if you plan on hiring movers – book your move. While Sugar Land isn’t a huge city, its proximity to major cities like Houston and Fort Bend means that moving companies may be in high demand.
If you plan on moving yourself, keep in mind that moving in the summer is very hard work. The high heat and humidity make lifting furniture a challenge. If you must move during the summer months, plan on getting an early start so you can avoid the worst heat of the day.
You’ll want to make phone calls to get your utilities set up and schedule appointments for cable and wireless service. Here are some links that you may find useful.
Reliant Energy (electricity)
Center Point Energy (electricity and natural gas)
Sugar Land Water Authority (water and sewer)
City of Sugar Land (trash and recycling)
Xfinity (cable and internet)
Windstream (cable and internet)
At the very least, you’ll want to make sure that your electricity and water are turned on in advance of your moving day.
Ready to Relocate?
The City of Sugar Land has a lot to offer its residents. The beautiful landscape, warm weather, excellent schools, and scenic parks make it a delightful place to live. And, its proximity to Houston will put you within easy reach of the city’s museums, nightlife, and live music.
Sugar Land, Texas and its people are waiting to welcome you!