Find out everything you need to know before you move to Texas.
Are you thinking about moving to the Lonestar State? You’re not alone. With a strong economy, booming job market, and affordable cost of living, Texas has become one of the fastest-growing states in America.
Whether you’ve decided to relocate or you’re still weighing the pros and cons of living in Texas, this guide on Texas living will give you everything you need to know before your move.
After Alaska, Texas is the second largest state in the US and the second most populated state after California. With over 30 million Texans calling the state home, it’s no surprise that the state has attracted people from all walks of life.
The abundance of opportunity, quality higher education, Indigenous American roots, and Mexican border contribute to multiple spoken languages, religions, and cultures being practiced in the diverse state.
But Texas’s diversity doesn’t stop at its demographics. Many of the state’s well-known cities have their own flavor and couldn’t be more different. From the “Keep Austin Weird” crowd in Austin to the white sand beaches on the Gulf Coast to the big city life of Dallas, there’s something for everyone.
Texans celebrate the unique atmosphere of their cities. In fact, the most prominent part of Texas living is home state pride—seen through each city’s many festivals, high-energy football games, celebrated live music, and more.As you’ll often hear: Texans love Texas.
2. Texas Job Market
As home to the most Fortune 500 companies in the nation, it’s no wonder that Texas is known for its flourishing job market. Since 2022 alone, the Lone Star State has added over 500,000 job opportunities to its economy
, which led it to break 3 national records and become the nation’s leader in job creation.
Whether you’re interested in “Silicon Hills” (Austin’s high-tech epicenter), the out-of-this-world work at Space Center Houston, or financial institutions that work with veterans like USAA, Texas has a variety of opportunities. Even the Texas Medical Center is known for its advanced healthcare practices. No matter your field, there’s something for everyone.
Not into working for someone else? WalletHub
named Texas the third best state for starting your own business, citing the environment and access to resources as its best features.
Whether you’re climbing the corporate ladder or taking the leap into entrepreneurship, Texas is a great state to live in if you’re ambitious!
3. Cost of Living in Texas
Affordability is one of the biggest deciding factors for relocating, and for Texas, one of its biggest strengths. Though the cost of living in Texas can be high in some areas, it’s more than reasonable, depending on where you land.
In 400 cities across the state, 26 million Texans are able to choose their electricity providers in a free market. That is because Texas has a large deregulated electrical network
which allows for competitive energy markets.
On one hand, these additional options can often help customers find a plan that suits their needs and potentially save on energy costs. However, having a number of different electricity plans can lead to confusion, especially if you're not used to dealing with more than one provider. Make sure to do a bit of research into the available options
before settling on a place.
While a bigger city like Dallas is 3% higher than the national average for cost of living according to PayScale
, San Antonio and Houston are 8% lower than average. If you want to take advantage of affordable housing options, you’ll want to research median home prices in the city you want to live in.
As a large state, you may be expecting Texas taxes to leave you dreading the April 15 deadline every year. However, Texas has no personal or state income tax, and sales tax rates are lower than expected. In fact, the Tax Foundation ranked Texas the state with the sixth-lowest tax burden in 2022
The only downside? While the lower cost of housing prices may be attractive, Texas homeowners pay some of the highest property taxes in the country.
Texas is a big place with a lot of room between communities as well as a lot of room for communities to spread out. This means that you will more than likely need a vehicle of your own to make it around. If you're used to the expansive and comprehensive public transit systems, such as those in New York or Chicago, it could be a difficult adjustment.
That said, some of the larger cities in Texas have public transit systems that might make for a smoother transition. For example, Dallas’s DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transport) light-rail system spans 93 miles and reaches 12 surrounding cities, making it the longest light-rail system in the U.S. Austin’s CapMetro system isn't as expansive, but can still help you get around the heart of the city fairly easily.
If you already have a car or public transportation isn’t for you, you still have the option to take advantage of the biking culture in many Texas cities. Or, if you’re in one of the many walkable Texas cities like the ones near Dallas or Houston, you will be able to cut back on gas.
5. The Crazy Texas Climate
Texas is known for its warm weather. But with heat waves keeping temperatures about 100 degrees in many Texas cities and 110 in others, it can’t be stressed enough that you have to prepare for the summer weather
Even visitors from notoriously hot states like New Mexico may have issues due to the difference in humidity. No matter where you’re relocating from, don’t underestimate how hot your new home will get during the summer.
Texas winters can be a bit of a toss-up. Again, Texas is big so your winter experience may vary tremendously depending on how far south or north you live. As a whole, Texas does not often experience winter cyclones like nor'easters, but every so often winter storms like the one in 2021 come plunging down from the arctic. In short, it's good to be prepared for a potentially harsh winter
, but don't be surprised if some winters barely dip below freezing.
Lastly, know that most of Texas is susceptible to all modes of severe weather, including thunderstorms
, and tornadoes
. Furthermore, hurricanes
can and do ravage coastal communities in Texas.
Before you make the move, research the city and area you’re interested in to know how to prepare for the weather you might face.
6. You’ll need a car for Texas Traffic
The saying “everything’s bigger in Texas” rings true when it comes to transportation. Texas’s size alone makes owning a car a necessity. Spread-out cities and jobs located farther from the suburbs and residential areas make for congested highways. Get your driver’s license and audiobooks ready for a lengthy commute.
While you’re driving, you’ll also want to look out for tolls while on the expressway. The steep fees can add up quickly, so look into a TollTag
, use a toll calculator
to plan your trip, or avoid them altogether by changing your GPS settings to only show routes without tolls.
7. Texas is a Foodie's Paradise
If there’s one thing you could get most Texans to agree on, it’s that Texas is a food heaven. Texas BBQ alone is serious business, with a long-standing debate on whether sauce belongs at the same table as brisket. Whether you choose to sauce or not, you’ll have plenty of options to pick from.
But there’s so much more to Texas than BBQ. There’s the most notable Tex-Mex, a blend of distinctive Texas flavors and cooking styles from Mexico. You’ll also find iconic staples like kolaches, Frito pies, and novelties like the first-ever margarita machine at Mariano’s Mexican Cusine.
No matter what part of the state you visit, you’re also likely to find local cuisine that you can only get in Texas. And for those who don’t eat meat or animal products, you’ll find several must-visit vegan and vegetarian options to help you remain a certified foodie.
8. Texas Football
If you aren’t a sports fan now, you may just want to think about starting. From the Dallas Cowboys to the Houston Texans to Texas A&M University’s Aggies, home-state pride overflows year-round in Texas with a focus on football.
Sports events pull massive crowds to Texas’s many stadiums, where tailgating and cookouts are just as celebrated as the games themselves. Even if you aren’t a fan of football, you’ll want to tag along for the fun and the food.
9. Entertainment Guaranteed
Like with most things in Texas, there’s likely something for everyone. If tailgating and rooting for the University of Texas’s Longhorns aren’t for you, there’s so much more to explore.
Texas is home to:
- Schlitterbahn, the world’s best waterpark
- 16 national parks
- Several historical sites, including the Alamo in San Antonio
- Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, a renowned music tour location
- South by Southwest Annual Music Festival in Austin
And so much more! While finding the right city for you, consider which activities appeal to you and your family’s interests. At the right location, you’ll never be bored in Texas.
Relocating to a new state requires a lot of contemplating and decision-making, especially if that state is far from where you currently live. Texas’s dense traffic and high property taxes may not be right for you, or maybe its vibrant and colorful culture is hard to beat. No matter what, Texas is one-of-a-kind and ready to give you a warm welcome if you choose to settle down here.
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