Everything You Need to Know Before Moving to Texas
Table of Contents
- Where are the Best Places to Live in Texas?
- How is the Job Market in Texas?
- What is the Texas Real Estate Market Like?
- How Much Does it Cost to Live in Texas?
- Is Texas a Good Place to Retire?
- What are the People and Culture Like?
- What Are Some of the Coolest Things to Do in Texas?
- Pros and Cons of Living Texas
- Texas Fun Facts & Strange Laws
The Lone Star State (Texas) ranks as the second most populous state in the US. If the US had a Sheriff, they would likely be wearing a Texas star on their vest.
Although Texas is often associated with oil, cattle ranches and desert climates, you don’t need to know how to saddle up ranchero style to enjoy all this state has to offer. In fact, Texas, has a little bit of something for everyone, which is why it’s designation as the second most populous state isn’t one it is likely to lose any time soon.
Everything is bigger in Texas as they say, and so is this guide. If you find yourself considering making a move to TX, saddle up and give us a “Yee Haw” because we’re about to take you down the rabbit hole as it were.
This guide will help you explore key elements of the state such as the best places to live, the cost of living, the real estate market, fun things to do and more.
Let’s dive in…
Where are the Best Places to Live in Texas?
Texas is a large and diverse state, often referred to as a “whole other country” by some. In fact, coming in at a whopping 268,597 square miles, TX is THE largest state in the US.
A fact that can make finding the right place to live in Texas a bit of a challenge given your options. Where you land will depend largely on your preferences, including affordability, city-life, employment, crime rates, education, among others.Want a free online moving quote? See our recommendations (March 28, 2020)
Based on these factors and more, we’ve put together a shortlist of some of the best places to live in TX. Keep in mind these are in no particular order and this is by no means a comprehensive list.
Austin, the city as eclectic as you are. Austin is a city filled with great music, food and nightlife. Their slogan “Keep Austin Weird” was used to promote local businesses and has gained Austin international notoriety for its often offbeat culture.
Enjoy music? How about live shows? Ready to break a move on the dance floor?
Austin is known as the “Live Music Capital of the World” with tons of music festivals, live performances and music events that occur year-round. The styles vary from country to indie rock, blues, and jazz meaning there is something for everyone no matter your tastes.
The cost of living in Austin is relatively cheaper when compared to the living costs of other large cities in the US. This makes it attractive for those wanting the big-city vibe without the big-city expenses associated with it. Who doesn’t like getting more bang for their buck?
San Marco has an Austin-vibe to it, while being both smaller and more affordable. It’s an up and coming town, being named the fastest-growing city by the US Bureau from 2013-2015, so you’ll be in good company.
Home to Texas State University, a good portion of the population consists of college students, which means you get all the benefits of a vibrant, youthful and energetic community.
Besides college students, this college town has been attracting younger professionals, entrepreneurs, students, and artists – all factors in forming their own unique Texan identity as evident in the cultural scene.
Denton is known for being a music city. The Denton Arts and Jazz Festival is the biggest highlight each year, where both big-name headliners and local musicians gather for a weekend of music.
Like San Marco, Denton is a college town with two major universities: Texas Woman’s University and the University of North Texas. The University of North Texas (UNT) is renowned for its jazz/music program, churning out the likes of Norah Jones, Don Henley, and Pat Boone.
Denton has highly rated public schools, active nightlife and has a suburban yet inner-city feel as well. Housing is relatively affordable and the median age is about 28, so it’s a town with a younger, working professional demographic.Need cheap moving supplies? Fast free delivery (March 28, 2020)
Plano is an affluent suburban city in northern Texas home of Fortune 1000 headquarters such as Cinemark Theatres, Rent-A-Center, Keurig Dr. Pepper and J.C. Penney. This concentration of big business makes Plano an ideal location for business and has many flocking to Plano for employment opportunities, perhaps even more so than Dallas.
With an increased employment rate, real estate is one of the fastest-growing markets in the US. Schools, parks, libraries, and other facilities are becoming more developed as people settle into Plano.
As the second-largest city in Texas (behind Houston), San Antonio is more affordable than the bigger cities in Texas, such as Dallas or Austin. This is in part due to the lower housing costs San Antonio offers, making it a great location for families needing more square footage on a budget.
San Antonio culture is diverse with a large concentration of Hispanics. If you enjoy events, San Antonio has plenty to enjoy. Cultural events such as Fiesta San Antonio, Texas Folklife Festival and Diwali promote ethnic diversity in the area and are great for the whole family.
Love the outdoors? Into cycling or running? The downtown area is chock full of walking paths and bike lanes to enjoy. And although traffic can be congested during peak hours, its generally not as bad as either Houston or Dallas.
To me, there are three great reasons to move to Texas:
“The first (and best) reason to move here is because the people are extremely neighborly and just amazing. You’re never going to find friendlier people in the world than you find in Texas. Everybody just wants to help each other. People even randomly start up conversations all the time. It’s something that’s really unique to Texas that creates a community I think everybody really enjoys.
The second reason is that Texas is a very business friendly state and has very low taxes. If you’re looking to create a new future for yourself, Texas has the opportunity for you to take on those new challenges. It’s a great place that’s going to be able to support you in that.
The third reason is that the property value rates and prices are extremely low. This means that if you’re looking to buy a home and to create that homeowner life for yourself, Texas is affordable.”
Scott Royal Smith, Esq. – Founder and CEO of Texas based Royal Legal Solutions
How is the Job Market in Texas?
We all have to eat right? Making a big move can be stressful enough as is without having to worry about employment when you get there. Texas is a big state with big opportunities.
From employment opportunities and high-income levels, to a diverse and growing economy, the job market is one of the reasons why so many are flocking to the Lone Star State.
Its economy is so impressive that if Texas were its own independent nation, it would rank 10th overall in the size of its economy – ahead of countries such as Canada, Mexico, and Russia.
Not only that, the unemployment rate in Texas sits at a cool 3.4%, slightly under the average national rate.
As for median household income levels, those sit at just under $60,000 a year, with the highest paying jobs being those in the oil & gas industries.Want a free online moving quote? See our recommendations (March 28, 2020)
Top Industries Driving the TX Economy
Looking to change careers? Not sure which field is right for you? Everything is indeed bigger in Texas, including the range of industries driving the market.
Texas boasts a diverse industry ranging from agriculture, oil & gas, manufacturing, banking, and tourism. Let’s explore a few of these below…
Agriculture: Did you know that Texas is the largest producer of cattle and cotton in the US? You do now. The state is also a major producer of cereal crops, grapefruits, watermelons, and more. In fact, agriculture is the second biggest industry in Texas, and in 2011, revenues from agriculture totaled $22.7 billion. So what’s the job market look like in agro? Approximately one in seven Texans work directly or indirectly in the agriculture industry. That said, chances are high that you can find a job in the industry yourself. And you don’t need to be a farmer to do so. Agriculture businesses still need managers, accountants, you name it.
Oil & Gas: With an output of 1.28 billion barrels in 2018, Texas is the largest oil producer in the US by a long shot. Texas also had the most oil reserves out of any state at 17.3 billion barrels in 2017. As of 2019, Texas employs about 218,500 jobs in this industry, which accounts for nearly 54% of the total oil & gas jobs in the entire nation.
Wind Energy: Texas leads the nation not only in the petroleum industry but also in wind energy production. In 2017, installed wind capacity totaled 21,044 MW. This accounts for 25% of the entire nation’s installed wind capacity. It is projected that wind turbine service technicians will be one of the highest demand jobs from now until at least 2026.
Manufacturing: There are more than 865,000 jobs in the manufacturing industry in Texas, which is about 7% of the state’s workforce. While the oil & gas industry in Texas is tied to volatile oil prices, the manufacturing industry has steadily expanded despite the contractions in the oil industry.
Tourism: Due to the diverse food, music, historical sites, and cultural scene, Texas is one of the biggest tourist destinations in the US. Over 70 million outside visitors paid a visit to the Lone Star State in 2018 alone. The tourism and travel industry employs over 1.2 million people with jobs in the hotel, food, and transportation sectors.
Top Employers in Texas
So who are the big wigs in the state putting all these people to work?
From the financial to tech to the petroleum industry, here are some of the top employers in Texas:
- Exxon Mobil Corp.
- Headquarters: Irving, Texas
- Industry: Oil & Gas
- Employees: 71,000
- Dell Inc.
- Headquarters: Round Rock, Texas
- Industry: Technology
- Employees: 145,000
- AT&T Inc.
- Headquarters: Dallas, Texas
- Industry: Telecommunications
- Employees: 268,000
- E.B. Grocery Company
- Headquarters: San Antonio
- Industry: Food
- Employees: 100,000
- Phillips 66
- Headquarters: Houston, Texas
- Industry: Oil & Gas
- Employees: 14,600
- Valero Energy Corp.
- Headquarters: San Antonio, Texas
- Industry: Oil & Gas
- Employees: 10,000
- Sysco Corp.
- Headquarters: Houston, Texas
- Industry: Food
- Employees: 66,500
- American Airlines
- Headquarters: Fort Worth, Texas
- Industry: Airlines
- Employees: 126,600
- Michaels Stores, Inc.
- Headquarters: Irving, Texas
- Industry: Retail
- Employees: 12,000
What is the Texas Real Estate Market Like?
Home is where the heart is. But if you’re looking to buy a house, finding the perfect humble abode can be a challenge. Let’s take a closer look at what you can expect when navigating the TX real estate market.
The real estate market in Texas has been steadily on the up and up in recent years. Yet despite this uptick in growth, housing prices in TX are still much more affordable when compared to other states such as New York, Washington or California. Since Texas is such a large area, real estate market trends will depend more on the local city/town itself.Want a free online moving quote? See our recommendations (March 28, 2020)
Ready to Jump on the Bandwagon?
Fastest growing markets: Dallas-Plano and Fort Worth-Arlington areas in Texas have seen the most significant house increases in the past year at 11%. This comes as no surprise given the steady population growth of 4-5% in both of these large metropolis cities in the past three years. The average home price in Dallas-Plano is $266,000 – second highest in the state next to Austin. This is still significantly lower than a large city like Seattle, which has an average home price of just over $700,000. Fort Worth-Arlington is slightly lower than Dallas-Plano, with an average home price of $239,000.
On a Budget or Hunt for the Most Value?
Most affordable: The McAllen-Edinburg market is the most affordable, with an average home price of $147,000. The cost of living is about 25% lower than the US national average. McAllen is a border town with an agricultural economy driving its growth.
Close behind McAllen-Edinburg in affordability is Brownsville-Harlingen with an average home price of $149,000. While both of these areas have extremely affordable housing and lower than the average cost of living, crime rates, and unemployment rates are higher as well. Other affordable Texas markets include Longview, Beaumont-Port Arthur, Abilene, Kileen-Temple and Laredo.
The most affordable real estate market in one of the larger cities in Texas is San Antonio (average home price is $235,000). San Antonio also has one of the highest job growth rates in the state, which helps sustain its real estate market.Need cheap moving supplies? Fast free delivery (March 28, 2020)
Are you a People Person?
Population growth: Population growth is generally a good indicator of which direction the real estate market will head. The fastest-growing cities in terms of population growth in the past three years are Austin-Round Rock (9%), followed by Houston (7%), College Station-Bryan (7%) and Midland (7%). Not surprisingly, these areas are also seeing some of the highest job growth rates in the state – especially College Station-Bryan, home to one of the largest universities in America, Texas A&M University.
There are so many people moving to Texas!
“I live in Austin, where we are growing at over 100 new residents every day. Here are just some of the reasons why.
- The weather is great! Sure, it gets scorching hot in the summer, but I’d take that over freezing cold anyday 🙂
- Cost of living is lower than most big cities. Austin may be expensive relative to most Texas cities, but’s a deal for those moving from the coasts.
- No state income tax! It sure is nice to keep your hard earned money in your pocket. We may pay higher property tax, but that also pays for our great public schools.“
Brad Pauly – Broker/Owner of Pauly Presley Realty
How Much Does it Cost to Live in Texas?
There’s no doubt about it the cost of living nationwide has been steadily on the rise. But what’s it like in Texas? Texas, by comparison, has a lower cost of living than most large states.
Let’s see how various living expenses in TX stack up against the rest of the nation….
We all have to live somewhere. As mentioned previously, Austin is the most expensive in regards to average home prices. It’s median home price of $322,291, which is 72% higher than Dallas, makes it the second most expensive in Texas.
Out of the major cities, the most affordable rent would be in Houston, with an average monthly rent of $1200. The most expensive rent of the major cities would be, again, Austin at $1531 per month.
The average utility bill in Texas was about $122.47, which is approximately 10% higher than the US average. Depending on which part of the state you’re in, utilities will be either deregulated or be monopolized by certain companies. Typically those in a deregulated market will pay more than the monopolized market.
As they say, the two things you can’t escape in life are death and taxes. But Texas has a little surprise for those looking to reduce their tax liability.
As one of seven states that does not have a personal tax income, Texas is one of the most tax-friendly states in the nation. According to the Tax Foundation, Texas ranks just below Alaska, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Wyoming as being the least burdened by taxes.
While personal income is not taxed, Texas does have a sales tax of 6.25%. Local cities or counties can tack on to this state tax, which can add an additional 1-2% to the state sales tax. As of 2019, a franchise tax of 0.375% is applied to certain wholesalers and retail businesses. Property tax rates are dictated by local counties and school districts.
There are other miscellaneous taxes, such as cigarette tax, gas tax, hotel tax, and fireworks tax.
No matter if you’re an amateur at-home chef, a restaurant aficionado or simply have a family of hungry mouths to feed, food costs often make us a substantial part of our monthly budgets.
The good news is that food costs are also quite affordable when compared to the rest of the nation. It is estimated grocery bills are approximately 6% lower than the US average. There are plenty of budget grocery stores to choose from in Texas, such as WinCo, H-E-B, Aldi and others.
According to a study by rent.com, seven Texas cities made it to the top of their list of most affordable groceries: Temple, Waco, Round Rock, Harlingen, McAllen, San Marcos, Wichita Falls, and Corpus Christi. The most expensive city to get groceries is Honolulu.
Although some areas of Texas are walkable, Texans generally love their cars. Outside the downtown vicinity, most of the bigger cities are sprawled out in different suburbs. Total transportation costs are about 3% lower than the national average. The average gas price is approximately $2.18/gallon – some of the lowest prices in the nation. Compare this price to Hawaii and California, which is $3.62/gallon and $3.73/gallon, respectively.Want a free online moving quote? See our recommendations (March 28, 2020)
Is Texas a Good Place to Retire?
After having put in a lifetime of sweat and labor, retirement is a time to sit back and relax. For some that means sipping mai tais on the beach. For others it means spending more time with family.
While you may not get the palm trees or beaches, Texas is still regarded as one of the top locations for retirement. Texas receives plenty of sun year-round with its balmy summers and mild winters. And for those looking to stay active in their golden years, there are no shortage of activities, retirement centers, restaurants and general support for retirees in Texas.
It is estimated the retirement costs in Texas are about $39,814 per year – ranking in the top 15 in terms of retirement affordability. In comparison, Alaska’s yearly retirement costs are the highest at $56,879. Housing is also more affordable compared to other states, which allows retirees to live comfortably without depleting their bank account.
Texas is also very tax-friendly when it comes to retirees. Its no state income-tax policy applies to Social Security retirement benefits and any other types of retirement income.Need cheap moving supplies? Fast free delivery (March 28, 2020)
The Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) has an initiative that certifies specific communities within the state that meet standards suitable for retirees. The standards include meeting health, entertainment, safety, and educational requirements that would be beneficial to retirees. These certified communities aim to attract current and potential retirees to Texas, promote tourism and provide quality services to those in retirement. Some of the certified retirement communities include Athens, Cuero, Longview, St. Augustine County, Lufkin, and others.
The following are some cities in Texas worth considering when planning your retirement:
San Antonio: Probably the best large city to retire in Texas, San Antonio, or “Alamo City,” boasts a vast array of offerings for retirees. The River Walk is a popular trail where bicyclists, walkers, and hikers can utilize. There is also the Japanese Tea Garden, San Antonio Zoo and Botanical Gardens you can visit. Compared to Dallas or Austin, San Antonio is also the most affordable in terms of cost of living.
Corpus Christi: Low housing prices are one of the primary reasons retirees flock to Corpus Christi. Median home price values at a mere $114,600. Corpus Christi comes with all the advantages a coastal city offers: fishing, sailboats, beaches, water sports, etc.
The Woodlands: Located within the Houston metropolitan area, The Woodlands is a scenic community surrounded by large trees and plenty of things to do and see. It has a population of about 110,000, so it’s got the small-town vibe, with the big-city amenities.
McAllen: From bird-watching and kayaking to shopping and visiting the museum, there are plenty of things to do in this border town. McAllen has the lowest cost for homes, which allows retirees with modest incomes to live in their own homes.
Hollywood Park: As a small little town that is part of the San Antonio metropolitan, it has all the characteristics of an ideal retirement spot. Hollywood Park features various amenities, restaurants, a low crime rate and plenty of mature trees.Want a free online moving quote? See our recommendations (March 28, 2020)
Texas makes financial sense for retirees!
“Texas happens to be a pretty popular state seniors choose to reside in retirement. This is probably because Texas has a ton of Medicare Advantage plans to choose from (the fifth most out of the states at 137) and has decently priced Medigap plans compared to several other states. For example, FL, CA and NY have a high senior percentage, just like Texas, but Texas usually has the most cost-effective rates for Medigap compared to those states.
Danielle K. Roberts – Co-founder of Texas based Boomer Benefits
What are the People and Culture Like?
Given its sheer size, Texas is truly a melting pot rich with historical and modern culture. The state, has a storied past of immigration and settling, with Texans generally being quite friendly and welcoming to newcomers ready to embrace the Texan lifestyle.
From ranch hands to technological hubs, the state embraces all of its citizens.
People and Demographics
Texas is quite diverse in ethnicity. In 2018 the population of different ethnic groups was as follows:
- Caucasian – 11,912,849
- Hispanic – 11,368,849
- Black – 3,441,644
- Asian – 1,433,736
Since 2010, the Hispanic population has increased the fastest at a 20% growth rate. It is estimated that by 2022, the Hispanic group will outnumber the white population.
While English is still the dominant language in Texas, there is increasingly more diversity in languages spoken. The amount of people speaking Spanish at home is 7.37 million, the largest number of people speaking a language outside of English. Vietnamese comes in second at 206,000 people due to the immigration of Vietnamese people to the Houston area after the conclusion of the Vietnam War.
The average income levels of Texans is $59,206, just slightly under the national average. About 27% of Texans have college degrees, which again just falls below the national average. While there are certainly highly educated residents with a good income, Texas also homes some of the poorest counties in America, including Hidalgo County, El Paso County, and Cameron County.
Culture has been influenced heavily by a long ranching tradition in Texas. Pop-culture and media have associated the rodeo and cowboys as distinctly Texan. In fact, the official sport in Texas is the rodeo. The largest rodeo in the world is held each year in Houston and lasts over a period of 20 days.
While rodeo is the official sport in Texas, it might not be the number one sport in the minds of most Texans. From high school to college to the pros, football is undeniably the most popular sport in Texas. The two professional teams from Texas are the Dallas Cowboys and the Houston Texans. Fans are known for their passion and zeal of football, starting from as early as the high-school level.
Other professional sports teams include the Texas Rangers (MLB), Houston Astros (MLB), Dallas Mavericks (NBA), Houston Rockets (NBA), San Antonio Spurs (NBA) and Dallas Stars (NHL).
Music plays a huge role in Texan culture. Vibrant music scenes are widespread in Texas, especially in cities like Austin, San Marcos, Denton, Nacogdoches, and Lubbock. And it’s not just country music that Texas offers (as the stereotype may suggest). On top of country music, Texas is known for a variety of musical styles such as Texas blues, Boogie-woogie, psychedelic rock, punk rock, and religious music.Need cheap moving supplies? Fast free delivery (March 28, 2020)
The food scene is also a distinctive factor in Texas culture. Due to a large amount of immigration, Texas food is influenced by many different cultures, including Mexican, African American, Creole/Cajun, and Asian. Tex-Mex is a popular style of cuisine that adapts Mexican food to European Texan tastes. Examples of popular Tex-Mex dishes include nachos, guacamole, tortilla soup, quesadillas, burritos and more.
Other cuisines that are known to be uniquely ‘Texan’ include barbequed meats (especially BBQ beef brisket), Southern-style foods such as chicken fried steak, kolaches (a pastry filled with fruit) and pecan pie (official state pie of Texas).
We are “Texans by Choice”
“Driving or riding culture is big in Texas. For the same amount of time many Americans spend commuting, you can visit a variety of small towns with unique cultural interest from barbeque (Luling, Lockhart) to antiques (all over) to ethic communities (German, Polish, Czech, Greek, Mexican) to wineries, breweries, and distilleries.
As well, we have one of the best state park systems, so Texans are apt to road trip for a river float (we ride inner tubes downriver and take floating coolers), hunting, fishing, beach trips, camping in the mountains, or even day trips to Mexico.
Outside the cities during rush our, Texas drivers are generally friendly and relaxed because the roads and amenities for drivers are just way beyond what you’ll find elsewhere. “Daytrippin'” is so common, there’s even a popular show (“The Daytripper”) about it.”
Joseph Hoelscher – Managing Attorney of Texas Law Firm Hoelscher Gebbia Cepeda PLLC
What are the Coolest Things to do in Texas?
Texas offers some of the most diverse and exciting things to do. With any destination, there are the must-do tourist activities and then there are things to do that are ‘off-the-beaten-path.’ First, the ‘must-do’ tourist activities:
The Alamo (San Antonio): Founded by Catholic missionaries in the 18th century, The Alamo is now a museum located in the historic district of Alamo Plaza. It was initially used as an educational center for the Native Americans by the Spanish missionaries but was later abandoned. Later the Alamo was used as a fortress in various battles, the most notable of them, the Battle of the Alamo that occurred on March 6, 1836. Today, over four million visitors tour the site each year, which includes the chapel and the Long Barracks consisting of war artifacts, paintings, and other weapons.
Space Center Houston (Houston): Owned by NASA, Space Center Houston is an educational center/museum aimed to showcase the various space artifacts, history and space technology available to date. There are multiple exhibits, galleries, and events that are held at the center, with over 1 million visitors stopping by each year.
River Walk (San Antonio): Another popular tourist attraction, the River Walk is a scenic path along the San Antonio River. It is intertwined with the San Antonio urban life, as it is one level below street level and provides access to shops, restaurants and other tourist draws. Enjoy boat rides down the river or simply stroll down the path as you soak in the sights and sounds of the San Antonio streets.
Big Bend National Park: This national park is located in the southwest of Texas, providing gorgeous views of the desert terrain. With over 1200 square miles of land, you can easily spend two to three days there stargazing, snapping photos, participating in planned activities and spotting for different species of desert animals.
Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden (Dallas): With 66-acres of land, this garden is a beautiful sight to see, especially in both the spring and autumn. Enjoy the different foliage and plants, explore the various gardens or simply have a family picnic on one of their lawns. The arboretum/garden also plans seasonal activities such as the pumpkin display in autumn or the ‘12-days of Christmas’ during winter.
And now for some more ‘off-the-beaten-path’ things to do in Texas:
Looking to avoid the tourist traps and explore something a little bit off of the beaten path? We’ve got you covered.
Museum of the Weird (Austin): Explore this off-beat museum located right in the heart of downtown Austin. As the name suggests, you’ll see indeed see many ‘weird’ items such as feejee mermaids, real exotic animals, shrunken heads and more. There’s a tour included with the admission and a quirky little gift shop to explore as well.
The Cadillac Ranch (Amarillo): Stop by and check out ten, half-buried, brightly painted Cadillacs in Amarillo, Texas. This unique sight was part of a public art installation created in 1974. The popular Bruce Springsteen song “Cadillac Ranch” was inspired by this unique display.
Public School 972 (Dallas): A school-themed gastropub, this unique little bar is worth checking out. You’ll be surrounded by typewriters, shelves, pencil sharpeners, etc. while you take a swig of your beer or chow down on your burger.
Visit Paisano Pete (Fort Stockton): If you’re driving by Fort Stockton, make sure you make a quick stop to snap a photo of the second-largest roadrunner in the world. Paisano Pete, who stands at 11 feet tall and 22 feet wide, is Fort Stockton’s official mascot. Paisano Pete lost his ‘world’s largest roadrunner’ title in 1993 when another enormous roadrunner was put up in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
The Leaning Tower of Texas (Groom): This water tower stands at an uncomfortable angle, making for a unique photo op. This oddity of a tower was used by a man named Ralph Britten as a marketing technique to attract visitors to his then truck stop/restaurant off Route 66. The truck stop is no longer there (it got burnt down by a fire), but the water tower still remains.Want a free online moving quote? See our recommendations (March 28, 2020)
Pros and Cons of Living in Texas
As with any place you live, there are advantages and disadvantages. Before you make what might be one of the most important decisions of your life, weight your options.
- Favorable climate: If you’re looking to escape the cold and snow, Texas is the place for you. Hot summers and mild winters give for plenty of sun year-round.
- Affordable: Texas is quite affordable and has a low cost of living in terms of housing, food, transportation, and other basic living amenities.
- Excellent employment opportunities: The vast amount of industries from oil & gas, agricultural, manufacturing, etc. boasts plenty of good-paying jobs.
- No personal income tax: One of seven states that do not require personal income tax. Overall taxes are also comparatively lower in Texas.
- Diverse demographics: With a diverse melting pot in Texas, you’ll be able to experience a vast array of different cultures via festivals, food, music and more.
- Educational opportunities: Texas boasts top ranking colleges/universities.
- Urban sprawl: Cities are all relatively spread out, so you’ll need a car to get to places.
- Higher crime rates: Violent crime rates in Texas are 17.3% higher than the US average.
- Property taxes: While overall tax rates are lower, Texas has some of the highest property rates in the nation.
- Potential for hurricanes: Texas is prone to hurricanes, which means you’ll need to carry additional home/business insurance to protect against flood damage.
- Healthcare access: Texas ranks low in both healthcare quality & access. In some cases, if you’re in a rural area, you’ll need to drive at least 50 miles to access a healthcare provider.
Texas Fun Facts & Strange Laws
Texas is no stranger to all things quirky and weird.
To start off, here are some fun facts about Texas:
- Fastest road in the US: Highway 130, a road between Austin and Seguin permits cars to travel as fast as 85 mph.
- Separate power grid: Texas runs on its own power grid – separate from the nation’s grid.
- Rescheduling Halloween: The small town of Decatur voted to reschedule Halloween in 2014, due to a conflict with their local high school’s Friday night football game.
- World’s largest parking lot: The Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport boasts the world’s largest parking lot.
- Slaughter, Texas: No murders were every committed in the ghost town of Slaughter.
- “Texas” meaning: “Texas” literally means “friends” or “ally” from the Native American Caddo language.
Now for some strange laws in Texas:
- Bare feet permit: Pay $5 and you’ll be allowed to walk around in your barefoot.
- Wire cutters: Carrying wire cutters in your pocket is illegal in Austin.
- Crime notice: Before carrying out the crime, criminals must give 24-hour notice to their victims explaining what they’re about to do to them.
- Shooting buffalo: Shooting a buffalo from the second story of your hotel is illegal.
- Marriage: If you publicly announce the person as your husband/wife three times, the marriage is considered legally binding.
- Selling cheese: In Houston, it’s illegal to sell Limburger cheese on any given Sunday.
Are You Ready To Live in Texas
As you can see, the Lone Star State has plenty to offer. Whether you’re looking to move because of employment, retirement or schooling, Texas can be a great place to settle into. The low cost of living, food & music scenes and quirky places to visit are just some of the things that make Texas so unique.
Further Reading: Looking For More Texas Resources? Check These Articles Out!
About the Author: Kris Lippi is the owner of ISoldMyHouse.com and the broker of Get LISTED Realty. He actively writes about real estate related topics such as buying and selling homes, how-to guides for around the house and home product recommendations. He has been featured in Inman, Readers Digest, American Express, Fit Small Business, Policy Genius, Lending Tree, GoDaddy, Manta as well as other major websites. Read more about us here.