Pros and Cons of Living in Texas
You may all go to hell,
and I will go to Texas.
~ Davy Crockett
Sounds harsh, doesn't it. The pride of Texas will take you over after you have been here a while too. The reality is that when you drive down any freeway in Dallas and you'll see license plates from out of state; California, New York, Michigan, Florida, and many others. Depending on the suburb you live in most of your neighbors won't be native Texans. We are a melting pot.
Here are a few items worth noting before you get to Texas:
1) Not Everyone Is a Cowboy Dallas is very cosmopolitan. You aren't going to see your neighbors in wranglers and spurs every day. That being said; Texans do love any excuse to pull those cowboy boots and hats out of the closet. There are several working farms within 45 minutes of the City of that is the lifestyle you are looking for.
2) Low Taxes Well, that is partially true. Texas is famous for having no personal income tax. So how does the Lone Star State earn tax revenue? Well, there’s a state sales tax, which can be as high as 8.25% depending on the county and city. And Texas also levies property taxes. Property taxes vary from City, School District, and County. Some locations have added municipal taxes to pay for infrastructure. Make sure you have a clear understanding of tax rates before you buy your new home.
3) Where's the Personality and Color Dallas is relatively young. There's not a ton of history here (disclaimer: I grew up outside of DC). When I first arrived here I had to work hard to find those good "hole in the wall" eateries and "mom & pop" businesses. This is chain heaven. In fact, due to the diversity of the population several chains use Dallas as a test market for concepts to measure viability. I ended up starting facebook pages for each City to make it easier for clients to get a feel for the personality of each suburb. Check out my "Cities Served" pages to get a sneak peak.
4) Cheaper Real Estate BUT SMALL YARDS Texas is massive – it’s always been land-rich. There is just more real estate here, so it’s cheaper when compared to coming from either coast. The huge increase in Corporate moves has resulted in rising home prices. Texas has a lot of land mass but developers have managed to build and sell homes on lots less than half the size offered in other States.
5) Low Unemployment Texas has low unemployment rates. It helps that so many companies come here, bringing new jobs with them.
6) DFW Airport One of the most overlooked benefits of living in Dallas is that it is easy to travel domestically and internationally. Businesses and their employees benefit from shorter commutes resulting in lower lodging costs for companies and more nights at home for the employee.
7) Good Schools Despite what you may have heard, Texas has a strong education system. Some people like to equate the Texas twang as a sign of undereducation...not true. Texas is home to many world-class colleges including the University of Texas, Texas A&M, Baylor, SMU and Rice University.
8) Friendly People I’ve lived in Maryland, Minnesota, California, Florida, and Texas. I’ve also had the luxury of traveling to numerous foreign countries. I can tell you that most Texans are very friendly and down-to-earth. I think I have come to expect that now and get a gentle reminder when relatives come to town and are shocked when someone holds the door open for them. Gentleman still exist in Texas.
9) Respect For The 2nd Amendment If you think of the Wild West when you think of Texas you might not be surprised to know that Texans love their guns. In Texas, you have the right to defend yourself. You can own and carry a gun. You do not need a permit or license to buy a firearm in Texas. You do need a permit to carry a concealed handgun.
10) Tornados I have lived in areas proven to hurricanes and earthquakes but tornados are new to me. Heed the warnings and respect mother nature.
11) Basement, what's a basement? Basements are not common in Texas. If you are moving from a home with a basement you have to tell your agent. The 2000 sq ft house you're moving from may be 2000 sq ft PLUS basement. Not all states calculate the basement sq ft for tax purposes. Think about that when determining what your housing needs really are.
Overall, I have come to believe that Texas is one of the best places to raise a family. I hope to call you "neighbor' soon!