Welcome to Victoria, a Texas town with a lot of history, a diverse population, and as many residents boast, big city amenities with a small town vibe. Now, let’s get started on your apartment hunt!
Victoria has a long colonial history, as settlers from France and Spain have inhabited the region since the late 17th-century. Much of Victoria’s history has been preserved in the city’s historic districts as well as museums and sites dedicated to the forts and settlements supporting American expansion. Though the area has a sordid reputation in terms of racism and discrimination, a large portion of Victoria is Hispanic (almost 50%), and the city remains fairly committed to diversity.
The city is one the largest in the region, and has many amenities that its neighboring towns don’t. Victoria has all of the box stores, chain restaurants and strip malls that you’ll need. There are even some independently owned restaurants and stores sprinkled throughout town.
However, this is East Texas we’re talking about, so don’t expect any cushy East Coast liberal or California hippie things in Victoria, like for instance, sushi, organic food stores, or cinemas that show R rated movies.
Instead, take up hunting, fishing and other East Texas outdoor activities at nearby Lake Texana. Being just 30 miles from the beach, you’ll have easy access to water sports and swimming. In addition, Victoria’s Riverside Park is home to the Texas Zoo that has over 200 species of plants and animals that are indigenous to Texas.
Health-wise you’ll be totally set in Victoria. There are two well-regarded hospitals in town that have specializations in a number of different conditions, including orthopedic surgery and heart disease.
Victoria is known for its hot, humid summers, with average temperatures generally going above 90 degrees in June, July, and August. Because of the humidity and high temperatures, allergy season can be intense in this region, so if you’re a hay fever sufferer be sure to pack plenty of tissues.
Because Victoria is located 30-miles from the coast, it is generally out of range of the major brunt of hurricane systems that pummel the Gulf Coast of Texas. But be prepared for wind and rain when these hurricanes make landfall.
South Victoria is where you’ll find the historical districts that connect Victoria to its past. Beginning in the historical downtown area, neighborhoods with an urban feel extend southwards. Here, homes on the National Register of Historic Places have been renovated by residents to something of their original splendor. While there are not as many rentals in the historical areas, some duplexes can be located amongst renovated blocks.
The southeastern portion of Victoria is home to the University of Houston-Victoria and Victoria College, both of which share a campus. Here there are many rentals available in houses and apartment complexes that are close to shopping, dining, and entertainment. Unlike rentals near many other colleges, the area surrounding theses schools is quite safe and moderately quiet.
The rest of south Victoria is also fairly old when compared to the northern portions of town. While the reputation of south Victoria is fairly spotty, you can find pockets of great neighborhoods amongst some of the older homes and rentals, particularly in the areas of restored historical homes. Two bedrooms in this area generally range from $500-800.
North Victoria is by and large newer and better regarded by Victoria residents. Here there are a number of developments with apartments, duplexes and condos for rent, as well as some houses located in suburban developments. All of the north side has a good safety record, but is generally slightly more expensive than the south side, with two bedrooms going for between $650-800.
When choosing between the north and south sides, consider the make-up of the neighborhoods. The new construction and development on the north side means a more suburban feeling neighborhood that is not easily walkable, but is in close proximity to the city’s mall, box stores, and chain restaurants. The south side has a more urban feel and is close to public transportation, but is considered slightly more dangerous.
While most of the Victoria housing market is dominated by homeowners, many rentals throughout town can be found without the aid of a realtor through online apartment searches or in the classifieds of the local paper, the Victoria Advocate.
Prospective renters will generally be subject to a credit check, application fee of up to $30, and may also have to provide proof of income documentation. Deposits for most Victoria rentals are generally less than one month of rent.
While public transportation in Victoria is readily available, most Victoria residents, particularly those that live in the northern reaches of town, will benefit from having a car. A strong highway system and that small town feel contribute to an overall pleasant rush hour with few delays.
Victoria Transit operates buses throughout the city, approximately every 30 minutes from the downtown transit center.
So welcome to Victoria, Texas! Enjoy your new residence in one of Texas’s big, small towns!