I live out in the Houston NE suburbs and I love it....Great fishing and hunting state if you like that as well. I live right near a lake and I love to fish plus you have the gulf coast of you want to go for something off-shore. Here's one I caught last weekend.
Housing is cheap and your right about employment, I was just commenting today on how many "now hiring" signs I see out...the dang check out line at Best Buy today was around the corner into the video games section. Economy seems to be doing at least okay here. And to top it off, the people are generally friendly and you shouldnt have much trouble making new friends.
Good luck with your search!
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