Living in Texas
Moving to Texas? Here is what it is like living in the lone star state!
Not only is Texas one of the fastest-growing states in the United States, but it is also the second-largest state by both population and land area. Home to a growing population of over 29 million people, the saying “Everything is Bigger in Texas” is an accurate representation. Located in the south-central region of the country, Texas borders Mexico and the Gulf of Mexico.
Nicknamed the “Lone Star State,” Texas is most famously known for its hot weather, flourishing job market, amazing food, and affordable cost of living. Some of the best places to live in Texas are also some of the best places to live in the entire country which is part of the reason so many people are moving to Austin or relocating to Dallas. If you are thinking about moving to Texas then you have come to the right place. This moving guide was created to help show you why moving to Texas is a good idea. Outlining its pros and cons, read on to learn more about the 7 Things to Know BEFORE Moving to Texas!
1. Taxes are low.
Did you know that Texas is one of the only states in America that has no state income tax? You heard that right! This means that Texas has the fifth-lowest tax burden per capita in comparison to other states in the country. With that being said, federal taxes are all that residents really need to be worrying about. Plus, sales tax is notoriously not very high in Texas either. With a modest 6.25% total sales tax, residents have more reason to shop and support local businesses. Since tax incentives are also a regular occurrence for business owners in the state, Texas is known to provide low taxes and reduced regulations for small businesses.
While these low tax rates may be a big draw to the area, there is unfortunately a downside. Texas is known for having some of the highest property taxes in the United States. In fact, the state is ranked as having the seventh-highest property tax rate out of all other states. Due to these high property tax rates, Texas was sadly listed as the tenth least tax-friendly state for retirees. So if you are a homeowner and are in search of a nice new place to call home, be prepared for a high property tax rate every year.
2. Homes are affordable.
There is a reason why so many people are flocking to Texas. While the property tax rate may be high, real estate is still relatively affordable in Texas. Since the state is landlocked and has a mass amount of land still available to build on, homeowners are deciding to move to Texas for its lower prices. The current median home price in Texas is $252,422. While the home values may have increased by 6.7% over the past few years, particularly in the large city centers, the median home price in Texas is still cheaper than the national average of $374.500. Depending on the property type and the city that you decide to live in, finding a home to meet your budget is possible in the lone star state.
3. The weather is warm.
Experiencing a subtropical humid climate, the weather in Texas is hot and warm in the summers and arid in the winters. Texas receives about 25 inches of rain on average per year over a period of 78 days while the national average is 38 inches of rainfall per year. While the state definitely has four distinct seasons, the summer tends to last a bit longer in most cities. Temperatures do in fact vary but they rarely rise above 96 degrees Fahrenheit and dip below 32 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the year. The best time to visit Texas for nice weather and mild temperatures are the months from March to May and September to November. July is the hottest month during the year where daily temperatures can rise close to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. On the other hand, January is the coldest month during the year where the average temperature can plummet below freezing at night. While the temperatures may not get extremely cold in the winters, snow may be rare but can still make an appearance. With that being said, make sure to pack winter clothing and snow gear just in case.
Even though the weather may be nice most of the year, beware of tornados. Located in the infamous Tornado Alley, Texas actually ranks first in tornado occurrence out of the whole United States receiving an average of 139 tornadoes per year. If you are moving from a state without tornadoes, it is important to know how to stay safe during tornado season and to prepare for any potential storms. While most tornadoes occur along the Red River Valley in northern Texas, staying informed is the best way to keep both you and your family safe in case of a weather emergency.
4. The job market is booming.
A great state for job growth, Texas is home to over 50 different Fortune 500 companies. In fact, multiple cities in Texas were ranked on a list of Best Cities for Jobs according to Forbes. Among these top cities were Austin, Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas. As the population continues to increase, jobs have been able to take root and grow in these desirable areas. Now also host to a booming technological sector, the city of Austin is being referred to as the “Silicon Hills” with a lifestyle that rivals that of the San Francisco Bay Area but with a lower cost of living. Austin is becoming such a huge place for job opportunities that multiple companies are actually picking up and moving to the area. Some of the top companies in Austin include Tesla, Facebook, Oracle, Whole Foods, Dell, and IBM. Many celebrities and business moguls such as Elon Musk, Joe Rogan, and Joe Lonsdale who is the co-founder of Palantir, are now also calling Texas home.
While technology may be spearheading job growth in the state, many other industries are flourishing. If you are moving to the area in search of a job then you will not be looking for long. Some of the most popular industries in the area include jobs in energy, steel, banking, and tourism. There is also a major draw in the space exploration center due to Space X and Space Center Houston.
5. Texas has a rich history
Did you know that the name Texas is derived from a Cado Indian word that means “friendship”? Steeped in history, the state has been home to numerous Native American tribes as well as a claimed territory to the Spanish Conquistadors, France, and Mexico. Finally, after first declaring itself an independent nation, Texas became a part of the United States in the year 1845. Playing a major part in the Mexican-American War and the American Civil War, Texas has been host to many historical events that have made the state into what it is today.
Check out these many museums and historical sites in Texas that are a constant reminder of the past!
Texas’ Dinosaur Valley State Park: Located in the city of Glen Rose which is just a short drive from Fort Worth, head to this state park to walk where dinosaurs once roamed millions of years ago. There are even actual footprints that were left behind in the mud near the Puluxy River. Walk the 20 miles of trails or camp in this once dinosaur-infested area.
The Alamo: Dating back to the 18th century, the Alamo Mission found in San Antonio was the location of an important battle during the Mexican-American war. Today, this historical landmark offers tours and even reenactments of what life was like in the 1830s.
Caddo Mounds: This historic and archaeological site is a village and ceremonial center of the Caddoan people. Dating back to more than 1,200 years ago, this village consists of earthen mounds that have been well preserved.
Eisenhower Birthplace: Born in the year 1890, this historical site was the childhood home of the 34th president of the United States and has become a popular tourist attraction.
Fort Griffin: This fort and historical site was established in 1867 and is now home to the Texas Longhorn Herd.
6. Barbeque and Tex-Mex reign supreme.
Texas is prized for its many iconic dishes and flavorful cuisine. No matter what food you normally crave, Texas has a variety of restaurants that will appeal to any palate. There are a few dishes though that all Texans can agree on: Texas Barbeque and Tex-Mex. What makes Texas barbeque so different from other types of barbeque is its specific flavor. Seasoned with classic salt and pepper and then cooked low and slow usually over pecan, mesquite, or oak wood, this barbeque style is vastly different from the eastern and western barbeque styles. Many Texans claim that the best way to enjoy Texas barbeque is without any sauce in order to fully enjoy the flavor brought out during the cooking process. But for those that do decide to use sauce, most are made with bold ingredients and spices such as paprika, hot sauce, chili powder, and garlic. While barbeque may be a big deal in Texas, there are also vegetarian and vegan options available.
If you are not a fan of barbeque then do not fret. Make room for all of the Tex-Mex that your heart desires. Gaining popularity in the 1970s, Tex-Mex is a blend of American, Spanish, and Mexican cuisine. So what exactly makes Tex-Mex different from Mexican cuisine? While the styles may be very similar, the one simple thing that differentiates the two is the ingredients used. For instance, Tex-Mex loves to utilize yellow cheese in most dishes while Mexican uses uncommon ingredients such as cilantro, oregano, or chili peppers instead.
Make sure to try one of these popular restaurants in Texas!
Terry Black’s Barbeque: Located in Austin, this 4th generation barbeque joint is serving up brisket, ribs, sausage, and pulled pork alongside homemade sides. Do not forget to order the mac and cheese and pecan pie!
Lockhart Smokehouse BBQ: This counter service restaurant in Dallas is firing up all types of smoked meats. There is even local beer, chili mac, and peach cobbler.
1775 Texas Pit Barbeque: What once started in a trailer has now grown into a favorite restaurant that can be found in College Station. Beloved for its mouth-watering brisket and many sides.
The Salt Lick BBQ: Get your fix of brisket, ribs, sausage, and many other Texas favorites in this laid-back bbq joint in Driftwood, Texas.
Salsa Tex-Mex Plano Texas: While this restaurant may be in a strip mall, it is serving amazing margaritas and even a brunch on the weekends.
Rio Grande Tex-Mex: Enjoy Tex-Mex favorites from fajitas to enchiladas.
Pelon’s Tex-Mex: Order tequila flights and Tex-Mex dishes in this Austin eatery.
Mia’s Tex-Mex Restaurant: Found in Dallas, this famous eatery is most popular for its brisket tacos.
7. Spend time in nature.
If you love the great outdoors then look no further than Texas. Due to its warmer temperatures and long summers, outdoor enthusiasts are moving to the state for all that it has to offer. Full of national parks, nature preserves, hiking trails, camping sites, beaches, and lakes, you will never run out of things to do.
Check out these outdoor activities in Texas!
Big Bend National Park: Located in southwest Texas, this park has over 150 miles of hiking trails and spectacular views.
Hamilton Pool Preserve: Just outside of Austin, this natural swimming pool is the perfect place to cool off. There is even a 50-foot waterfall and a grotto!
Hueco Tanks State Park: This historic site has turned into a popular rock climbing destination in El Paso.
South Padre Island: The best place to go kiteboarding! This barrier island off of the southern coast of Texas is a popular vacation destination.
Moving to Texas - The Bottom Line
Warm and tax-friendly, living in Texas is a great idea. With many diverse cities and endless job opportunities, Texas is a popular destination for young professionals, families, and retirees alike. Compared to living in Florida, Texas is slightly cheaper and just as warm as the sunshine state. Before moving to Texas, reach out to one of our knowledgeable and friendly Realty Specialists to guide you through the home buying process. Once you have decided on a budget, our team will help you find the perfect place to call home while keeping safety in mind. Contact us today to find your dream home in Texas!
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Hi there! My name is Ryan Fitzgerald, and I have a passion for everything real estate! My goal is to help you learn more about real estate through our Real Estate Blog whether it's the best places to live, move to or invest in real estate! Hopefully, you enjoyed the above blog post and it found a way to provide help or value to you. When you're ready to buy or sell a home of your own please let us know here at uphomes.com as we partner with only the best Realtors® all across the country. Also - Please feel free to join the conversation by dropping us a comment below... We love comments!