There’s a certain magic to Texas. Whether you are drawn by its booming job market, exceptional schools, or the charm of its small towns and lively cities, it beckons you to make it your home.
Despite its offerings, Texas does not burn a hole in your pocket. The overall cost of living here is 8% less than the national average. This affordability extends from dining on the lip-smacking local Tex-Mex cuisine to healthcare expenses, making life in the Lone Star State a little kinder on your wallet than in many other places.
That said, the housing market in Texas also offers a welcoming picture to potential homeowners. With the median home price resting at an affordable $337,400, it stands 22.7% below the national average, presenting a remarkable opportunity to own a slice of this vibrant state without straining your budget.
However, the appeal of Texas extends beyond its attractive affordability. Many are drawn to Texas by the promise of a fresh start with opportunities. But before you set your eyes on this beautiful state, let’s discuss the best places to live in Texas and dig deeper into what make them such an enticing prospect for relocation.
Table of Contents
1. Best 20 places to live in Texas
Everything is indeed bigger and better in Texas. The trucks, BBQs, and even gas stations here uphold this mantra. This naturally ledme to wonder: are the best places to live in Texas also bigger and better? Well, I did the deep dive so that you do not have to.
And guess what I found? Contrary to popular belief, Austin doesn’t top the list for the best place to live in Texas. Wait, what!?
What I discovered was fascinating. While several cities offered a great quality of life, some of the most attractive places lay on the periphery, nestled in the quiet comfort of suburban landscapes. These hidden gems offer a reprieve from the bustling city life, complete with shorter commutes and less crowded spaces. And these suburbs aren’t just about peace and quiet. Their economies are buzzing, rapidly gaining momentum. All of this contributes to an elevated quality of life that may just rival their city counterparts.
Here is the rundown.
|Place||Population||Median Home Value||Unemployment Rate||Total Crimes Per 100K individual||Cost Of Living (Base city=100)|
|West University Place||15,589||$1,179,700||6.1%||961.8||195|
We will discuss each of these factors in details towards the end.
1.1 University Park
- Cost of living: 214
- Population and Population growth data: 25,027 (up 0.3%)
- Crime Rate: 962.3
- Liveability: 8/10
- Median home price: $1,351,400
- Unemployment rate: 4.4%
- Median income: $247,716
- Median rent: $2,095
The second most densely populated city in Texas, University Park, does boast of attractive amenities and features. With a population of 25,027, the city offers an appealing gender balance, with a female-to-male ratio of 52.5:47.5.
Education thrives in University Park. An impressive 45% of residents have attained a graduate degree, and 21% have a master’s degree. Additionally, 18% of the populace have earned a professional degree, while 4% proudly hold doctorates.
Boasting a vibrant and youthful demographic, the median age in University Park is a spry 35, making it one of the most youthful places on our list. The residents enjoy a robust median income of $247,716, ranking as the second-highest median income in Texas. Given this financial prosperity, it’s unsurprising that the cost of living index here stands at 214, over twice the national average.
The low crime rate in University Park might correlate with its affluent population. The crime rate is 962.3 (number of crimes per 100,000 people), which is relatively low compared to other cities in Texas. In fact, University Park boasts the third-lowest violent crime rate in the state, and its total crime rate is about half the national average. In the previous year, there were only four reported violent crimes. Similarly, the property crime rate stands at 946.4 per 100,000 people, compared to Texas’s 2,245 and the U.S.’s 1,958. This paints University Park as one of the safest places in the Lone Star State.
In terms of housing, the city flaunts an enviable market. The median home price stands at a hefty $1,351,400, with a median rent of $2,095. Despite the elevated housing costs, the city’s high median income helps keep it an affordable option for many residents. As further evidence of the city’s prosperity, the poverty rate here is a mere 3.9%.
It also excels in education and commuting convenience. The city’s schools are top-notch, and the commute scores a solid 9 out of 10, contributing further to its appeal.
1.2 Alamo Heights
- Cost of living: 136
- Population and Population growth data: 8,501 (up 3.8%)
- Crime Rate: 2,270.9
- Liveability: 10/10
- Median home price: $614,000
- Unemployment rate: 1.4%
- Median income: $147,475
- Median rent: $1,425
Nestled within the greater San Antonio area, Alamo Heights offers a unique blend of suburban charm and city conveniences. With a modest population of just 8,501, where 51.3% are females, it ranks as the ninth most densely populated city in Texas.
This gem of a city is near the state’s largest underground attraction, the Natural Bridge Caverns, offering residents a tranquil spot for relaxation and exploration. Living in Alamo Heights situates you at the heart of numerous attractions and amenities.
The local job market is robust, with a low unemployment rate of 1.4% and an impressive median income of $147,475. While the median home price may seem steep at $614,000, the high income levels make home ownership attainable. For those who prefer renting, the median rent stands at an affordable $1,425.
Alamo Heights citizens have a strong focus on health and insurance, with 98.4% of residents insured, making it the city with the 3rd highest rate of insured residents in Texas. As a result of this economic stability, the poverty rate is a low 3.9%.
When it comes to education, Alamo Heights shines. With access to top-quality schools, it’s no wonder 43% of residents are graduates, 19% hold a master’s degree, 9% have a professional degree, and an impressive 5% have earned a doctorate.
As one might expect in a city with high education and income levels, the crime rate in Alamo Heights is 3.2% below the national average. With 2,270.9 crimes per 100,000 residents, the city is marginally safer than average. Only six violent crimes were reported last year, representing a violent crime rate of 68.1 per 100,000 residents, far below the Texas average of 446.5 and the national average of 387.8. Property crime rates, however, are slightly above the national average, standing at 2,202.8 per 100,000 residents compared to 2,245 in Texas and 1,958.2 nationwide.
Although the cost of living index is 1.4 times higher than the national average, at 136, the city’s high incomes offset these costs, making Alamo Heights an attractive place to settle. Surrounding Alamo Heights are several fantastic places, including Cibolo, Converse, Timberwood Park, Leon Valley, Live Oak, Schertz, and San Antonio, each offering their unique charm.
- Cost of living: 107
- Population and Population growth data: 965,872 (up 3.2%)
- Crime Rate: 107
- Liveability: 7/10
- Median home price: $358,600
- Unemployment rate: 4.4%
- Median income: $75,752
- Median rent: $1,346
Austin is one of the most sought-after places in Texas. The city’s population is laid back, so much so that if you find its residents dressing up for an event, you can be sure it’s a significant event. The residents here enjoy being in causals, love their pets, and prefer the outdoors. The job opportunities here are good, with some top companies hiring here. You’ll probably find the who’s who of technology hobnobbing here. Other top job providers are the government and the health and education sectors.
The education system here is rated 8.5 out of 10, and it is a well-known fact that many of those who come to do that college here tend to settle down for good. In addition, Austin has some great amenities, and the commute here is manageable.
In the last decade, there has been an increase in residential and commercial high-rises in the downtown area. This trend doesn’t seem to be tapering off soon. The median home price of $358,600 is close to the national average, and the median rent is $1,346. The median income in Austin is $75,752, and the unemployment rate stands at 4.4%. The poverty rate is slightly higher than in the earlier cities on the list and stands at 12.5%. Understandably, the affordability factors come down considerably and get a rating of 5 out of 10.
The crime rate in Austin is on the higher side. It had a violent crime rate of 467 (for every 100,000 people) compared to the Texan average of 446.5 and the national average of 387.8. Property crimes, too, were higher at 3631.2 (for every 100,000 people) compared to 2,245 in Texas and the national average of 1958.
1.4. West University Place
- Cost of living: 195
- Population and Population growth data: 15,589 (-0.20%)
- Crime Rate: 961.8 (per 100k people)
- Liveability: 10/10
- Median home price: $1,179,700
- Unemployment rate: 6.1%
- Median income: $250,001
- Median rent: $2,484
An affluent suburb in Houston, West University Place has easy and quick access to the best amenities, including Mini Main Park, where you can watch an Astros game, and the Museum of Natural History. Both are at a short distance of 15 minutes from West University Park, the most densely populated city in Texas.
The residents of West University Park are particular about their education standards, with over half having a master’s degree or higher. And this gives them rich rewards in the form of a median annual income of $250,000, which also happens to be the highest in Texas. So understandably, this place has the 2nd highest percentage of insured residents in the Lone Star State.
With high education and income levels, it’s no wonder that West University Place has a poverty rate of only 1.3% (the 4th lowest in Texas) and a crime rate that is 59% lower than the national average. Per thousand people, West University Place had a violent crime rate of 31.8 compared to the Texas rate of 446.5 and the US rate of 387.8. Property crimes were also way lower at 929.9 per 100k people compared to 2,245 in Texas and the national figure of 1958.2.
Though the cost of living is high, and the median home here costs $1,179,700, the place still gets a 10/10 livability rating. Strangely for such an educated lot, the unemployment rate in West University Place is high at 6.1%.
1.5 Highland Park
- Cost of living: 235
- Population and Population growth data: 9,143
- Crime Rate: 2,216.2 (per 100k people)
- Liveability: 7.5/10
- Median home price: $1,451,300
- Unemployment rate: 3.9%
- Median income: $218,611
- Median rent: $2,328
Highland Park, along with our previous location West University Place is part of the Park Cities Enclave in Dallas. It is an affluent place where you will associate with the cream of society. Though the median income here is lower than University Place’s, the median home here costs much more at $1,451,300. This is the highest median home price in Texas. Still, residents can afford the higher prices with a median annual income of $218,611.
The unemployment level here is 3.9%, while the crime rate hovers around 2,216.2 (per 100k people), which is 5.5% below the national average. In addition, the violent crime rate at 43.7 was lower than the Texas and national figures, which is the 11th least violent place in Texas.
Highland Park scores a 10 out of 10 on the education front. Around 46% of the population are graduates, while 22% have a master’s degree and 14% have a professional degree. The commute in Highland Park is easy, with a rating of 8.5 out of 10. Residents here travel for an average of 19 minutes to and from work. This is one of the best times in our entire list of places. There is a high level of amenities earning Highland Park a rating of 9 out of 10 on this front. The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens are again just 19 minutes away for most residents here. All this makes Highland Park a great place to live.
- Cost of living: 82.3
- Population and Population growth data: 2,313,238 (up 0.8%)
- Crime Rate: 5,435.1 (per 100k people)
- Liveability: 4/10
- Median home price: $186,800
- Unemployment rate: 6.2%
- Median income: $53,600
- Median rent: $1,086
Houston looks like a shallow-priced housing market compared to West University Place and Highland Park. A median home in Houston costs just $186,800, and renters will also have an easy time than in the earlier two locations, with a median rent of $1,086. Houston is a much bigger place, with a population of 2,313,238. The population is growing rapidly, making it the second-largest metro area in Texas.
The poverty rate here is relatively high at 19.6%, and the unemployment rate stands at 6.2%. The crime rate is more than two times the national average, with the violent crime rate being at 1,256.3 and the property crime rate at 4,178.9. Only 21% of the population here hold a Bachelor’s degree, 9% have a master’s, and 3% have a professional degree.
Despite all this, Houston’s excellent job market and relatively low cost of living make it a highly desirable place for those who cannot afford the high prices in places like Highland Park and West University Place. The cost of living here is 10% less than the national average.
1.7 College Station
- Cost of living: 95
- Population and Population growth data: 115,802 (up 4.5%)
- Crime Rate: 2,082.2 (per 100k people)
- Liveability: 7/10
- Median home price: $256,600
- Unemployment rate: 4.7%
- Median income: $47,456
- Median rent: $1,001
Located in Brazos County in Texas, College Station is in the heart of Brazos Valley. Along with Bryan, College Station is the 13th largest metropolitan area in Texas. College Station is home to Texas A&M University, and owes its name to the fact that the university lies along a railroad. It is 87 miles east-northeast of Austin and 83 miles northwest of Houston.
Of the total population of 115,802, 58.3% are White, 19.38% are Hispanic or Latino, 10.14% are Asian, and 7.87% are African American. The population is young, considering that 51.2% are aged 18 to 24, and the median age is 22. With the university located here, most of the population are students, hence the low median age. On the other hand, College Station has an unemployment rate of 4.7%, considering that most of the population is studying. Though the poverty rate is 28.3%, this may be because most people here are still entering the job market.
Post Oak Mall, located in College Station and spread over 82 acres, is the largest mall in Brazos Valley. The mall’s opening was instrumental in helping College Station develop economically and commercially. The mall accounts for 75% of the retail sales in Brazos Valley.
The median home price of $256,600 in College Station is below the national average, as is the average rent ($$1,001). The crime rate, too, is 11.24% below the national average.
1.8 Trophy Club
- Cost of living: 119
- Population and Population growth data: 11,904(up 1%)
- Crime Rate: 398.4 (per 100k people)
- Liveability: 10/10
- Median home price: $444,800
- Unemployment rate: 4.1%
- Median income: $155,635
- Median rent: $1,454
Trophy Club, which has a population of 11,904, is one of the safest places in Texas. The crime rate here per 100k people is 398.4, which is 83.02% below the national average. In addition, the violent crime rate is zero, while the property crime rate is 398.4. That makes it the fourth-lowest crime rate in the state.
With a relatively young population (median age 39), Trophy Club is an affluent suburb in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. Here the median home price is well above the national average. The young population seems to be doing well for themselves, with a median income is $155,635. No wonder it has the 11th lowest poverty rate in Texas. The nightlife, as expected, is happening with Sundance Square, located just 30 minutes away. The residents of Trophy Club are having a good time with a livability score of 10 out of 10.
Youth and education seem to be going hand in hand here, with 40% of the population having a Bachelor’s degree, 18% having a master’s degree, and 2% having a professional degree. About 80% of the population is White, 5.4% is Asian, and 2% is African American. There is only 2.1% poverty and 4.1% unemployment in Trophy Club.
- Cost of living: 89
- Population and Population growth data: 148,573 (up 3.8%)
- Crime Rate: 2,644.4 (per 100k people)
- Liveability: 7/10
- Median home price: $132,000
- Unemployment rate: 10.3%
- Median income: $50,335
- Median rent: $948
Killeen is the US army’s Fort Hood military base and has a diverse population of 148,573, growing at a healthy rate of 3.8%. It is the largest among the three principal cities of Bell County. To a large extent, the city’s economy depends on the activities of the military post, the soldiers, and their families stationed here.
About 15% of the population has a Bachelor’s degree, and 5% have a master’s. Killeen has a majority African-American population (34.8%), with the White population being 27.9% and 3.8% Asian.
Killeen is relatively affordable compared to other places on the list. The cost of living is a reasonable 89, which is 11% below the national average. The population here has a median annual income of $50,335. The median home price in Killeen is quite affordable at $132,000. Renters, too, will find the median rent of $948 quite reasonable.
The total crime rate here per 100k people is 2,644.4, which is almost the same as the crime rate in Texas and a little above the national rate. The unemployment and poverty rates are relatively high at 10.3% and 15.1%, respectively.
- Cost of living: 121
- Population and Population growth data: 41,494 (up 0%)
- Crime Rate: 1,581.1 (per 100k people)
- Liveability: 10/10
- Median home price: $414,000
- Unemployment rate: 2.4%
- Median income: $128,476
- Median rent: $1,538
Coppell is a bedroom community with a population of 41,494 people in the Dallas-Forth Worth area. The place has a low unemployment (2.4%) and poverty (2%) rate, making it one of the best places to live in Texas. The median income of Coppell is a healthy $128,476, although renters may find the rent a little on the higher side. Home prices are above the national average, with the median home price here being $414,000.
However, Coppell has good education facilities with good amenities and a diverse population. About 40% of the population has a Bachelor’s degree, 22% have a master’s, and 4% have a professional degree. In addition, Coppell boasts of some great schools, giving it one of the premier educational systems in the state.
Regarding the demographics, about 50.5% of the population is White, 27.6% is Asian, 13.7% is Hispanic, and 4.7% is African American. The median age in Coppell is 39. The city’s best feature is that it is only a 10 minutes commute from Legoland Discovery Center.
The cost of living is 21% above the national average, and the crime rate is 32.61% below the national average. Per 100,000 people the violent crime rate here was only 69.4, while the property crime rate was 1,511.7, making Coppell one of the safest places to live in Texas.
1.11 Dallas-Fort Worth
- Cost of living: NA
- Population and Population growth data: 7,451,858 (up %)
- Crime Rate: 2485.2 (per 100k people)
- Liveability: 6.4/10
- Median home price: $394,399
- Unemployment rate: 7.9%
- Median income: $56,190
- Median rent: $1,188
The Dallas-Fort Worth area is a mix of the quiet suburban and big city life that many of us love. You’ll still find the cowboy life in Fort Worth and all the excitement of the city life in Dallas, which boasts trendy local bars and several retail stores. And, of course, whether you like one or the other, everyone is seen getting together to rally for their favorite professional sports teams. Many backyard parties and sports events draw in the crowds here. The Dallas Cowboys football team and the Texas Rangers baseball team are a craze here. If you are a fan, you will also catch a glimpse of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team and the Dallas Stars hockey team. The latter often play at the American Airlines Center in downtown Dallas.
A friendly population, you’ll find many young professionals who love the outdoors, so don’t be surprised to see children enjoying themselves on their bicycles and joggers hitting the pavement every evening. The median age in this area is 35, and residents enjoy the great nightlife. Fort Worth is known as Cowtown and hosts the annual Forth Worth Stock Show and Rodeo. It also has weekly rodeos and weekend two-stepping at Billy Bob’s Texas nightclub.
Although the median annual income of residents is $56,190, homes are pretty in demand, with the median home price of $394,399 being a little over the national average. With more and more renters moving into Dallas-Fort Worthy, the median rent hovers around $1,188. In addition, the surrounding suburbs offer tight-knit communities that want easy city access. So you’ll find both the suburbs and the cities full of families looking for a great place to stay and professionals looking at furthering their careers.
With so many young professionals, it is no surprise that traffic can be a dampener. However, with expanding tollways and rapid development, you can expect to travel to your office within 30 minutes.
The violent crime rate in Dallas-Fort Worth stood at 366.5 while the property crime rate was 2118.7, both well below the national average.
- Cost of living: 150
- Population and Population growth data: 31,684 (up 2.7%)
- Crime Rate: 755.7 (per 100k people)
- Liveability: 10/10
- Median home price: $697,000
- Unemployment rate: 2.2%
- Median income: $223,621
- Median rent: $1,337
Southlake is a well-situated suburb in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. There are plenty of restaurants and shopping options here, so there is no shortage of activity. You’ll find restaurants like TruFire and Taverna Rossa, and Summit Park on Main Street.
With a population of 31,684, residents seem pretty well off, with a median annual income of $223,621. The median home price runs pretty high at $697,000, and renters may find the median rent of $1,337 daunting. However, the high annual income would not make it such a bad deal. The cost of living here is 50% higher than the national average.
Not surprisingly, Southlake gets a 10/10 rating for livability, given its excellent surroundings, not to mention the great amenities available here. Add to this the low crime rate, and you have one of the most desirable places in Texas. The crime rate here is 67.79% below the national average. The violent crime rate per 100k people is only 42.3, and the property crime rate is 713.4. In addition, the low unemployment and poverty rates of 2.2% and 1.9% are encouraging and possibly help keep the crime rate down.
The excellent educational facilities are reflected in the fact that 40% of the population have a Bachelor’s degree, 19% have a master’s, and 7% have a professional degree. In addition, 3% of the people have a doctorate. Furthermore, 71.3% of the population is White, 17.6% is Asian, and 7.2% is Hispanic. All in all, Southlake is a great place to live.
- Cost of living: 117
- Population and Population growth data: 46,885 (up 1.5%)
- Crime Rate: 773.1 (per 100k people)
- Liveability: 9.5/10
- Median home price: $412,800
- Unemployment rate: 3.3%
- Median income: $149,342
- Median rent: $1,544
About 15 miles north of Fort Worth and seven miles north of North Richland Hills, the city of Keller is in Tarrant County. Nestled in the Fort Worth-Arlington area, Keller was known as Athol but was renamed in honor of a foreman on the railroad, John C. Keller. The city has more than 420 acres of parkland, and nearby attractions include the Johnson Road Park, NRH20 Waterpark, Fort Worth Zoo, Six Flags Over Texas, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, and the Sid Richardson Collection of Western Art. For hikers, there are the Meandering Trail, Brentwood Trail, and Shady Grove Greenwalk.
The elite Keller Farmer’s Market and Keller Pointe Athletics Center in your area make it simple to eat healthily and stay active here, which is an added draw. The city of Keller also organizes various festivals and special events.
A city of 46,885, Keller has an excellent education system. Some surrounding colleges and universities are Texas Christian University, Tarrant County College, and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Up to 37% of residents hold a Bachelor’s degree, 16% hold a master’s, and 3% have a professional degree. The high level of education has also resulted in an increased annual median income in Keller, which stands at $149,342. Salaries here are the 13th highest in Texas. This also helps residents manage a cost of living that is about 20% higher than the national average.
With so much going for Keller, naturally, homes are in high demand, with the median home price being $412,800 and the median rent being $1,544. Add to that a low crime rate of 773.1 per 100k people, and you have a safe place to live. The crime rate here is 67% lower than the national average, with only 81 violent crimes per 100,000 residents, while the property crime rate is 692.1. In addition, unemployment and poverty rates are low at 3.3% and 3.2%, respectively, giving Keller a livability factor of 9.5 out of 10.
Lastly, on the demographics front, the male-to-female ratio in Keller is roughly equal, and 78% of the population is White. About 11.3% of residents are Hispanic, 5.3% are Asians, and 1.7% are African Americans.
- Cost of living: 136
- Population and Population growth data: 26,766 (up 2.8%)
- Crime Rate: 586.9 (per 100k people)
- Liveability: 10/10
- Median home price: $567,600
- Unemployment rate: 4.6%
- Median income: $171,485
- Median rent: $2,261
Situated in the northeast of Tarrant County, the city of Colleyville lies at the heart of the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area. It is about 3.5 miles from the Dallas/Fort Worth international airport and lies in the Mid-Cities suburban region between Dallas and Fort Worth. The city boasts a 46-acre natural refuge with nine ponds and numerous fishing spots.
Earlier known as Bransford, Colleyville got its name from a prominent area physician and Union Army veteran, Dr. Lilburn Howard Colley. This is another city that has everything going for it. With a population of 26,766, Colleyville has an excellent education system, with 38% of residents holding a Bachelor’s degree, 19% holding a master’s, and 5% having a professional degree.
A low poverty rate of 2.7% also helps keep the crime rate down to 74.98%, below the national average. There were only 29 violent crimes for every 100k population in Colleyville, and the property crime rate, too, was low at 557.9. Colleyville has the ninth-lowest crime rate in Texas.
Residents have a median annual income of $171,485, helping them cope with a cost of living that is 40% higher than the national average. This is the 9th highest median pay in Texas. However, Colleyville is blessed with so many amenities and conveniences that housing doesn’t come cheap for those planning to move here, with the median home price being $567,600. Renters wanting to shift here will have to cough up a monthly median rent of $2,261.
Finally, if you look at the demographics, about 47.8% of the residents of Colleyville are female. In addition, about 82.9% of the population is White, 8.3% are Hispanic, 5.3% are Asian, and 1.6% are African American.
- Cost of living: 75
- Population and Population growth data: 182,230 (down 0.02%)
- Crime Rate: 2,250.02 (per 100k people)
- Liveability: 3/10
- Median home price: $92,400
- Unemployment rate: 6.1%
- Median income: $40,924
- Median rent: $754
Brownville is located in Cameron County, lies on the southern tip of Texas, and borders Mexico. You will find many vacationers here who want to enjoy the beaches of South Padre Island. The city is also known for its deep-water seaport and its subtropical climate. The town got its name from Fort Brown. This being a county seat, the city and county governments are significant employers, besides the manufacturing, service, and trade industries. In addition, the city has a growing Space Transportation and Aerospace industry.
The best thing going for Brownsville is its affordability. With the cost of living 20% below the national average, the residents don’t have to shell out much for daily expenses or housing. A median house in Brownsville costs only $92,400; even renters have it easy with a median rent of $754. With a low cost of living, understandably, the mean annual income for the residents of this city is $40,924.
Despite a poverty rate of 27.5%, the crime rate in Brownsville is 4% lower than the national average. There were about 402 violent crimes for every 100,000 of the population, and the property crime rate, too, was slightly lower than the national average at 1,848.3.
If you look at the demographics, 94.1% of the population are Hispanics, 4.8% are Whites, and 52% of residents are female. The population declined slightly recently due to migration.
Brownsville is known for its historical past, with many battles being fought here. Consequently, many historic sites and houses in the city are listed under the National Register of Historic Places. It is also a wildlife refuge center. Several parks and sites are protected by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
1.16 Flower Mound
- Cost of living: 117
- Population and Population growth data: 78,854 (up 7.6%)
- Crime Rate: 737.9 (per 100k people)
- Liveability: 9.5/10
- Median home price: $376,500
- Unemployment rate: 3.6%
- Median income: $139,703
- Median rent: $1,787
Flower Mound is located near Grapevine lake and gets its name from the vast 12.5-acre mound in the center of the town. Known for its beauty, the city is located in the Denton and Tarrant Counties and lies northwest of Dallas and northeast of Fort Worth. The Dallas/Fort Worth international airport was instrumental in helping this town grow to its current size of 78,854 people. It is still growing quickly and recently saw a 7.6% increase in residents in a year.
Residents here are said to have a heart of gold and are known to be friendly to everyone. Their excellent mood could also be because there are hardly any traffic jams. As a result, the commute is ideal; the only dampener is that for work you may have to drive to Fort Worth or Dallas.
About 70.7% of the population in Flower Mound is White, 11.5% are Hispanic, 10.7% are Asians, and 3.9% are African American. The male-to-female ratio in the town is roughly equal. The city has an excellent education system, with 41% of residents having a Bachelor’s degree, 17% having a master’s degree, 3% having a professional degree, and 2% having a doctorate.
Consequently, the unemployment level is low at 3.6%, and the median annual income of the town’s residents is $139,703. On the other hand, housing costs are slightly higher than the typical home price in the country, and renters, too, have to pay a median rent of $1,787. Moreover, Flower Mound also has a cost of living that is 20% higher than the national average and a lower poverty rate of 3.8%.
Despite the high cost, Flower Mound is a great place to live. One of the safest cities in the state, the crime rate here is 68.5% below the national average. In addition, there were only 55 violent crimes for every 100,000 residents, and the property crime rate of around 682 is less than half the national average.
1.17 San Antonio
- Cost of living: 89
- Population and Population growth data: 1,529,133 (up 2.9%)
- Crime Rate: 4,362.2 (per 100k people)
- Liveability: 4/10
- Median home price: $156,700
- Unemployment rate: 5.9%
- Median income: $53,420
- Median rent: $1,025
With a population of 1,529,133, San Antonio is the second-most populous city in Texas and the 7th-most populous in the United States. It is the second largest city in the US, is one of the fastest growing top ten largest cities, and serves as the seat of Bexar County. It is expected that Downtown San Antonia and Downtown Austin may form a new metroplex similar to Dallas and Fort Worth.
San Antonio was named after Saint Anthony of Padua, whose feast day is celebrated on June 13. In addition, the city boasts UNESCO World Heritage sites such as The Alamo and San Antonio Missions National Historical Park. But that’s not all; San Antonio’s other attractions include the Tower of the Americas, the River Walk, the Alamo Bowl, Marriage Island, and SeaWorld San Antonio. It also has the Six Flags Fiesta Texas and Morgan’s Wonderland amusement parks, and the city hosts 32 million tourists annually.
San Antonio has a rich Spanish and Old West heritage. Of the 1,529,133 residents, 64.7% are Hispanics, 24% are White, 6.3% are African Americans, and 2.9% are Asians. The male-to-female ratio is almost equal. San Antonio is a mix of the old and the new. It also has the Quarry Market (earlier, the Alamo Cement Factory), where you do your boutique shopping. The place is full of trendy residences. The Pearl Brewery houses The Culinary Institute of America’s San Antonio campus and the weekend farmers market.
There’s plenty to do here – you can take winery tours at Fredericksburg, day trips to local Hill Country destinations, or spend your time at weekend fairs in Wimberley. Or you could go tubing on the Guadalupe River.
With an annual median income of $53,420, residents here can get a home for $156,700, which is the median home price in San Antonio. Renting a place is also not expensive since the median rent here is $1,025. The unemployment rate at 5.9% and the poverty rate at 17.6% are a little problematic, as is the high crime rate in San Antonio, which is around 86% above the national average. However, these statistics don’t seem to deter people from moving here, as the population is growing at an impressive 2.9%. In addition, the low cost of living, which is 10% below the national average, helps make this an affordable place for most families.
- Cost of living: 84
- Population and Population growth data: 117,321 (down 1.1%)
- Crime Rate: 4,533.9 (per 100k people)
- Liveability: 3/10
- Median home price: $123,700
- Unemployment rate: 5.6%
- Median income: $48,168
- Median rent: $868
A coastal city near Louisiana, Beaumont is the county seat of Jefferson County and is located on the Neches River. Part of the Beaumont-Port Arthur metro area in Southeast Texas, about 85 miles east of Houston. This metro area is the 10th largest in Texas and has a total population of 117,321. After discovering a vast oil field in 1901, several energy companies came up in Beaumont, soon becoming a significant petrochemical refining area in the country.
Beaumont has many museums, including The Art Museum of Southeast Texas, Beaumont Children’s Museum, Clifton Steamboat Museum, Dishman Art Museum, and Babe Didrikson Zaharias Museum. In addition, the Beaumont Art League is the city’s oldest non-profit art gallery.
The residents of Beaumont have an annual median income of $48,168, and the cost of living is 20% below the national average. Furthermore, housing here is available at a reasonable cost, with a median home price of $123,700. Renting a place, too, is not expensive, as the median rent here is $868.
Beaumont’s main features are the affordability and diversity of its population. The commute, too, isn’t bad, with few traffic snarls giving it a 9 out of 10 rating on this front. In addition, the city has many amenities, including Lamar University, a national Carnegie doctoral research university. Several big corporations, too, have set up base here, including Gulf State Utilities, which Entergy Corporation took over in 1994.
On the demographics front, the male-to-female balance in Beaumont is almost equal. Beaumont has a majority African American population (44.8%), while Whites account for 31% of residents. About 18.9% of people here are Hispanic, and 3.6% are Asian. About 30% of the population in Beaumont have attended high school, 23% have attended some college, 16% have a Bachelor’s degree, and 6% have a master’s.
The crime rate in Beaumont is worrying since it is almost double the national average. There were about 1225 violent crimes for every 100,000 people and 3,308 property crimes. Poverty, too, is high at 18.9%, while unemployment hovers around 5.6%.
1.19 Corpus Christi
- Cost of living: 90
- Population and Population growth data: 326,332 (up 0.5%)
- Crime Rate: 4,108.5 (per 100k people)
- Liveability: 4/10
- Median home price: $150,100
- Unemployment rate: 5.7%
- Median income: $57,387
- Median rent: $1,055
Corpus Christi lies in the southern part of Texas and has a population of 326,332. The city is the county seat of Nueces County and extends into three other counties, Aransas, San Patricio, and Kinberg. The Corpus Christi Port is the fifth-largest in the country. Residents here have a very short average commute of just 20 minutes to work, making it the 6th quickest in the 150 most-populous metros in the United States.
The city has plenty of amenities (scoring 9/10 on this front), including the USS Lexington Museum and the Texas State Aquarium on North Beach. Other attractions in Beaumont include the Museum of Art and Cultures, the South Texas Institute for the Arts, the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History, the Harbor Playhouse Theatre, and the Heritage Park. In addition, the downtown area has company offices, many shops, and skyscrapers such as One Shoreline Plaza, a popular center for marinas, the Texas Surf Museum, the K Space Contemporary, and the Mirador de la Flor.
The community is majorly Hispanic (63.8%) and White (28.8%), while 3.9% are African American and 2.2% are Asian. The male-to-female ratio is quite balanced in Corpus Christi. The cost of living is slightly lower, 10% lower than the national average. The residents enjoy an annual median income of $57,387. Housing, too, is affordable, with a median home price of $150,100, which is more than 50% below the national average. Renters will not find it too expensive since the median rent in Corpus Christi is $1,055.
The unemployment rate stands at 5.7%, and the poverty rate is slightly high at 16%. The crime rate is also worrying as it is more than 75% higher than the national average, with 842 crimes per 100,000 people, while property crimes stood at 3266. On the education front, about 29% of the population have attended high school, and 24% have attended some college. Around 9% have an associate’s degree, 14% have a Bachelor’s degree, and 6% have a master’s degree.
- Cost of living: 79
- Population and Population growth data: 142,557 (up 0.7%)
- Crime Rate: 2,015.6 (per 100k people)
- Liveability: 5/10
- Median home price: $131,500
- Unemployment rate: 5.7%
- Median income: $49,259
- Median rent: $829
The largest city in Hidalgo County, McAllen, is located in the Rio Grande Valley on the Mexico-US state border. It is the 5th-most populous metropolitan area in Texas. McAllen’s total population is 142,557, and the city is a significant manufacturing, international trade, retail, and tourism center. Thousands of tourists come to the Rio Grande Valley annually during the mild winter and fall seasons and pump the economy up with their millions of dollars in spending. Many Mexicans, too, can be seen crossing the border to enjoy themselves in McAllen for the day.
McAllen boasts excellent medical facilities and a young and warm bicultural community. Top hospitals include the Rio Grande Regional Hospital, Lifecare Hospitals of South Texas-Mcallen North, Lifecare Hospitals of South Texas-Mcallen South, Mcallen Heart Hospital, and Solara Hospital Mcallen.
In McAllen, the cost of living is 20% below the national average, and the median annual income here is $49,259. The unemployment rate is 5.7%, while the poverty rate is 22%. In addition, the crime rate in McAllen is 14% below the national average, with only 85 violent crimes per 100,000 people and a property crime rate of 1,930.
McAllen has built a robust Hispanic community with the Catholic Charities and the Sacred Heart Catholic Church helping people make a new life for themselves in the US. About 85.5% of residents here are Hispanic, 9.5% are White, and 2.7% are Asian. The male/female ratio is balanced in McAllen.
On the education front, 14% of residents have a little schooling below 9th grade, 10% have studied between 9-12th grades, 19% have attended high school, 20% have attended some college, 6% have an Associate’s degree, 21% have a Bachelor’s degree, and 7% have a master’s degree. Cathey Middle, Mcallen HS, Memorial HS, Sharyland North J H, Morris Middle, and Milam El are some of the largest public schools in this area.
Housing doesn’t seem to be a problem here, with a median home price of $131,500. Renters, too, have it easy compared to other more expensive cities, with a median rent of $829. Overall, McAllen scores high on safety, amenities, commute, and affordability.
2. Things to consider when finding the best places to live in Texas
Before you move to a new location, research is always a good idea. So if you’re planning to pack your bag and baggage and move to Texas, there are some points you could focus on before you make up your mind. Texas is one of the fastest growing states in the US, thanks to its temperate climate, a great job market, affordable cost of living, and the option to do so many things after work. So let’s look at some crucial points here.
2.1 Cost of Living
One of the critical criteria for deciding to shift to a particular area in Texas is the cost of living. The cost of living in Texas is 7% lower than the national average. However, the cost of living in Texan cities ranges from 24% below to 12% above the national average. Now that’s a huge variance that needs to be kept in mind when deciding where to move.
Here’s a table comparing the cost of living in Texas to the national average.
|Cost Of Living||Texas||United States|
|Median Home Cost||$243,600||$291,700|
The cost of living varies across the different parts of the state. For example, the cost of living in Southlake is 50% higher than the national average, while that in Colleyville is 36% above the national average. However the cost of living is 20% below the US average in a place like McAllen. Therefore, choosing the wrong place here would mean regretting the higher daily expenses in the long run. This could not only eat into your budget but also make it difficult for you to pay your mortgage or rent on time. This would have drastic consequences for you and your family.
It would help if you looked at various expenses, such as the energy bill, the cost of a loaf of bread, how much it will cost to visit a doctor, or how much a gallon of gas will cost. For example, some parts of Texas have a regulated utility market while others have a deregulated system. The cost of utilities is generally higher in regulated markets and lower in deregulated areas. For example, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reveals that in 2020, the average monthly energy bill in the US was $117.46, and in Texas was $132.59.
The prices of food, too, vary across locations. For example, a gallon of milk in Dallas will cost $3.07, while the same will cost $3.81 in Austin. On the other hand, a pound of apple will cost $2.18 in Austin and only $1.86 in Dallas. According to Numbeo, a person would need $360.41 for monthly food in Dallas, and in Austin this would be $354.15. Of course, here we’re talking about the bare necessities, and one would require much more to live a better lifestyle.
Taxes could be another thing to look at. Sales tax ranges from 6.25% to 8.25% across the state. Gas tax per gallon is another 20 cents. There is no state income tax, but the property tax can cross 2% in some counties.
Healthcare prices also vary in different states. For example, in Dallas, healthcare prices are 16%, while in Houston, they are 10%. On the lower side, in Corpus Christi, healthcare prices are 4% below the national median. Conversely, seven of the eight metro areas in Texas have a healthcare price at or above the national mark.
Though the minimum wage in Texas is the same as the federal minimum wage ($7.25%), by MIT’s calculations, a living wage would be around $15.24 in Texas for a single person, and this would jump to $33.5 for two adults if only one of them is working.
Depending on your income, the cost of living can be reasonable in one place or too expensive for your liking in another. For example, someone with a high salary may find a place like Southlake quite affordable, while even a place like McAllen could look expensive if the wage is low. So make your decision carefully after studying your favorite area in detail.
2.2 House and rent prices
Where you live can be crucial because a significant part of your income will go towards housing, whether you plan to buy a home in Texas or rent. Homes in Highland Park and West University Place cost over a million, while those in areas like Corpus Christi or McAllen are way below the national average. If you decide to move to Highland Park, ensure your income is high. Else you could opt for a more affordable location. Rent is another thing you should check. Even though housing may be too costly, the rent is slightly more reasonable in some places.
For example, housing in Alamo Park is costly, with a median home price above $600,000, but the median rent here is around $1,400. This might mean that you may not be able to buy a home here, but you can consider renting a place here. Likewise, in a place like University Park, you could think of renting rather than buying a home since the average home price here is more than a million dollars. Raymondville, for example, has the lowest median home value of $63,000 and very affordable rent at $671 per month. So whether you should budget for buying a home or merely stay on rent will be decided by how much you earn when you shift to the new place.
Rents can also vary in different cities. For example, average rent for an apartment in Pasadena or Baytown is around $1,000. On the other hand, that in Plano or Austin is close to $1,800, which may prove too costly. You can check out the rent in various Texas places and sort the list according to parameters such as high to low, new listings, number of bedrooms, etc.
2.3 Safety and crime rates
The location’s safety will also make a big difference to your plans. The crime rate in a locality will make a big difference if you move on your own or with your family. You may be willing to take a chance if you are alone. However, you would not want to move your family to a dangerous zone. Finding out about the risk after moving can be asking for punishment. So check the crime rates in a locality. If required, you could visit a local police station for statistics if they are not available online.
Even a few of the best places to stay in the United States are considered dangerous because of the high crime rate. Therefore, you will need to check which neighborhoods in these areas are the safest if you want to move here. Hence it is always safer to research such statistics to avoid rude shocks.
2.4 Schools and education options
If you have kids, you would undoubtedly want to check the quality of schools and colleges in the locality. Finding no good schools after moving will prove to be a big disappointment and could seriously affect your children’s future. You would also need to check the possibility of admissions before moving there. There could be good schools, but enrolling your children in the same may be difficult. Check with the top schools in the area about this before you make a decision.
It will help if you match your child’s plans with the location. For example, if your son or daughter plans to take up engineering after high school, you would need to check for some good options for engineering in the area. On the other hand, if there are good schools but no hope of joining a good engineering institution, you may have to plan to move all over again. So map out the educational requirements and match them with what is available in your favorite locations.
2.5 Career opportunities
When deciding where to move, you need to check the job opportunities. Which large companies have set up their offices or headquarters in the location, or is the state government encouraging investments in your sector are some parameters you will have to check. Moving to Texas will be easier if you move to an area where career opportunities benefit you. Depending on your profession, look at the best places for growth, vacancies, etc. All this will ensure that you grow professionally and can meet your commitments.
If you select a location that doesn’t have promising career opportunities, you may have to change your location within a few months or years, which would be unfortunate.
2.6 Transportation and commute data
This may not seem very important, but it is crucial once you move to a location. How quickly you can get to your office or the marketplace depends on how good the transportation is. If there are perennial traffic jams, you will get frustrated, and this will cause a loss of valuable time, as well as money, in the long run.
Ideally, ensure that you stay close to your office or prospective job location. Reducing the commute time is a blessing, and you will have more time for your family and friends. This can mean a lot, especially when moving to a new place.
The distance between you and amenities like hospitals, schools, or colleges (if you have children), religious places, etc., will all matter in the long run. You will have to decide your priorities and choose your location accordingly. For example, if you have an ailing family member, staying closer to a hospital would make sense, while if you have school-going children, a location closer to the school would be convenient.
Whether you prefer to rely on public transportation or have a vehicle will also define which location would be convenient for you.
2.7 Culture and entertainment
Though work does come first, you will need to ensure that you and your family are comfortable with the culture in the area too. For example, if you have children who need to concentrate on their studies, moving to a place where there are weekly fairs, and disturbing fairs could prove counterproductive. On the other hand, moving to an area with plenty of top-rated educational institutions would be more conducive to your children’s future.
You also need to make sure that there are opportunities for entertainment relevant to you. If you are an avid golfer, you may want to stay near a golf course, or if you love skiing, moving to a place with such facilities would make sense. If you prefer to spend evenings in some great bars, make sure you have that option near or within a commutable distance.
3. How much income do you need to live in Texas?
You will need to earn at least $30,780 annually to live a decent life in Texas if you’re single. This should cover all your bills. If you are married and both of your are working and splitting the expenses, you can get along by earning $23,155 per year.
However, if you have kids, then the expenses go up considerably. If only one person is working, they would have to draw at least $58,901 for a family of three. A single parent would need to earn a little higher at $62,470 a year. If you have more than one child, your expenses will increase proportionately depending on the number of children. Here’s a ready calculator to see how much you should earn depending on the number of people in the family.
You will have to look at your annual salary and decide which part of Texas suits you best or whether you can move to Texas. The cost of living differs from state to state, and while you may be comfortable living in a state with a lower cost of living, things can change when the cost of living goes higher. To live comfortably, you should earn more than your recurring expenses. You should be able to cover all your bills, save money and have fun.
A good indicator of whether you are earning enough to live comfortably is checking how much your rent is. You should be making at least three times your rent. This is also called the golden rule of budgeting.
So if your rent is $1,500 a month, your annual rent would be $18,000.
Annual rent = Monthly rent X 12
= $1,500 X 12
So you would have to earn three times this amount to live comfortably. This would mean you need to make at least $54,000.
Amount to live comfortably = Three times rent = $18,000 X 3 = $54,000
If you’re shelling out $1,500 as rent in a month, you need to earn $4,500 every month. If you are making three times your rent, then this generally means that you can cover all your expenses, plus manage to save a little, and enjoy your free time by having a little fun.
4. Pros and cons of living in Texas
Texas is growing fast, with many people from other states moving here. As a result, there is plenty of land available here and a lot of scope for expansion. It’s literally like everyone wants to be in bustling metros such as Dallas, Austin, Houston, and San Antonio, or even the lovely suburbs of Texas.
But then, it’s not all rosy in Texas. Some pockets are dangerous and crime-ridden, and there are safe havens. So you should know the pros and cons of life in Texas before you pack your bags for the big move. Let’s look at these pros first.
4.1 Pros of moving to Texas
4.1.1 Great Job Opportunities
The pandemic hit Texas hard, and more than one million people lost their jobs in 2020-21. However, the Lone Star state is recovering quickly. In May 2021, the Texas Workforce Commission stated that Texas had added over 13,000 jobs. Moreover, over one million jobs have also been added back over the last year. So whether you are a native of Texas and are moving here from another state, the job market does have much promise for you.
4.1.2 Cost of Living
If you look at home prices across the US, Texas offers an affordable average home price of $247,210 compared to homes that can reach well over $600,000 on the West Coast. Even if you feel that a home is not affordable for you at present, you can easily manage the rent in Texas. The median rent here is $1,045, with plenty of housing available on the market.
Read more about Realtor Commission in Texas here.
4.1.3 Laws that Protect Assets
Texan laws are people-friendly and protect your assets. So even if someone goes bankrupt, creditors are not allowed to touch all your assets. So you will not lose everything even if someone puts a frivolous lawsuit against you. The Texas Homestead Law protects your home, so no creditors can take possession of it whether you live in the city or rural areas. The only condition is that you should be living in it, and it should not be your second home. Texas also allowed personal property exemptions if creditors decide to seize this. An individual has an exemption of $30,000, while a family has an exemption of $60,000.
4.1.4 A Warm Climate
If you detest winters and are looking for a warm climate throughout the year, then you are looking at the correct state. You can confidently bring out those shorts and T-shirts. Texas is mainly known for it’s warm climate throughout the year. Snow is a rare occurrence here, although it can happen. So it is better to be prepared than sorry. But overall, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) assures that the average temperature statewide is around 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
4.1.5 Urban and Rural Living Options
Texas is a big state. So there are plenty of living opportunities, be they urban or rural. Whichever option you choose, be assured that you will have something to your liking. Some metros are growing fast and have all the hustle and bustle you see in a busy place. So if you’re a city person, you have plenty of options from Austin to Dallas to San Antonio. And if you want a quiet life without all that noise and chaos, you can move to places like Waco, New Braunfels, or San Marcos. And it’s not like these places don’t have much to offer. They are growing rapidly, too, so you will have plenty of amenities and a small-town feel.
With an ever-growing population, migrants are crowding into this people-friendly state. Texans are known to be friendly, enabling people to settle here and build a life quickly. Especially in the South and West of Texas, there are fast-growing metros like the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington area, which grows by leaps and bounds yearly.
The diversity of the population is also encouraging, with Hispanics and Latinos being the second largest ethnic group in the state. In many places, you will find that Hispanics form more than 50 percent of the population. Even Asian-Americans today comprise a significant population group with Indians, Filipinos, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, and Cambodians calling Texas home.
Texans are not only known to be friendly to strangers and locals, but Texas is a great place for families as well. Of the seven million families living in Texas, four million have children, and most live in the metros such as McAllen, Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, Austin, and Houston. The quality of education in many of these places is top-class. If you have children, you can scout for homes in areas like Plano, Flower Mound, Fredericksburg, Lago Vista, and Sugarland. Another place, Friendswood, was ranked as the 5th most family-friendly neighborhood in the United States.
4.1.8 First High-Speed Railway
Being such a large state, transportation can be a bummer in Texas. The highways can be congested enough to make you sad. But there is hope. The state is planning its first high-speed railway, which will be a boon to commuters traveling up and down the state. Once it is ready, this railway will cover the distance between North Texas and Greater Houston in less than 90 minutes. What’s more, building the railway is bound to create many jobs, which will be a bonus.
4.1.9 Fewer Regulations
Luckily, the Texas government is also friendly. There are few regulations compared to other states. The laws are business-friendly, so if you plan to start a company here, that’s excellent news. The state government encourages entrepreneurs by charging only a small license fee. Plus, there are fewer barriers, which ensures that starting a business is accessible here.
4.1.10 No Income-Tax
Yes, you heard that right. Especially if you’re moving in from a state like California, which is highly taxed, you will get a huge relief when you move to Texas. There is absolutely no income tax here, which means that if you are drawing the same salary that you were drawing in California, you will have much more money left in hand than earlier. Texas, like eight other states in the United States, doesn’t charge state income tax. Among these states, too, Texas is ranked fourth on the list of the states with the lowest tax.
4.1.11 Growth in jobs
As mentioned earlier, jobs are being created at a good clip in Texas post-pandemic. The unemployment rate has dropped to 6.5%. There has been a spate of well-known companies making a beeline for Texas in the last few years. BAE Systems, an aerospace and tech company, recently moved to Austin. Other companies which have made a move include Tesla, Kubota Tractor Corporation, Toyota Motor North America, Charles Schwab Corporation, and Jamba Juice.
4.1.12 Great Entertainment
Yes, everything in Texas is big–whether it is homes, fairs, or any entertainment, for that matter. The metros, especially, have everything you can dream of. So whether you are looking for great bars, golf courses, bustling fairs, or live sports events, there is something for everyone. All you have to do is hunt for your kind of entertainment, and you will be rewarded with a king-sized version. So whether you plan to settle down in one of the metros or are just passing through, you need to check out all the fun available here.
4.1.13 All Age Groups Call Texas a Home
More and more youngsters are moving to Texas. In fact, in 2020 alone, more than 53,000 people aged 25-39 moved to the state–and we’re talking about the net migration figure here. In 2021, Texas was the top state for this age group, with a net migration of 33,000. But that doesn’t mean Texas is only for the young. It has excellent amenities for retirement too. So you will also come across many people who are over 60 and enjoying life in Texas.
4.1.14 Diversity in Food
The diversity in population adds a similar flavor to the food as well. If you love food (who doesn’t?), you will find so many options that you will have a tough time deciding what to eat. In addition, the diversity of culture offers you a fusion of foods from everywhere. Especially popular are the Tex-Mex staple restaurants, which have mushroomed all across the metros. Rio Grande Valley was where all this began and later made its way to San Antonio and Austin.
4.1.15 A Great Housing Market
If you want to buy a home in Texas, now couldn’t be a better time. Though home prices have escalated quickly, the demand for homes is virtually never ending with the constant migration into the state. The population in Austin, for example, shot up by 29.8% between 2010-2019. This has put tremendous pressure on the housing market there. However, if you buy a home here, you can expect a great appreciation because of the limited supply of homes and the growing demand. Though home prices are high in Austin, touching a typical $676,900, you can rest assured that the increased demand will give you a great return in the long run. If this is too high for you, you can consider places like Corpus, Dallas, or San Antonio, where home prices are more affordable, yet these are equally, if slightly less, hot real estate markets.
4.2 Cons of moving to Texas
It’s not all hunky dory in Texas. There are unfortunate sides to this unique state as well. It is better to look at both sides of the coin before you make your final decision. Many people who come here to visit look at some of the state’s best features and are mighty impressed. However, when it comes to living here, you might have a few surprises. Let’s look at some of the cons of living in Texas.
4.2.1 Not so happening health insurance
This is probably something that the state has received a lot of flak for. When the state government decided not to expand the eligibility for Medicaid, this resulted in a vast number of uninsured people. So much so that according to a 2019 report, Texas was ranked 49th for health care access and affordability in the United States. This can be troublesome for those who have a high medical bill.
4.2.2 Insect nuisance
Texas has a good number of artificial and natural water bodies. Unfortunately, the water bodies in wooded areas are breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Today Texas has 84 species of mosquitoes creating havoc in the state. So if you cannot stand these insects, you need to think twice about moving here.
4.2.3 Severe weather conditions
Although there is very little snow in Texas, other natural hazards exist here. The state has severe weather conditions such as hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, thunderstorms, and wildfires—depending on where you live. In 2020, Texas was ranked second among the top 10 states with a high number of Tornadoes. The state experienced no less than 102 tornadoes that year, resulting in four deaths. Texas is not for you if you don’t want to live in a state with hazards.
Hurricanes are expected during April, May, and June when the state gets its highest rainfall. This mostly happens in the state’s eastern section, which is in the subtropical zone.
4.2.4 High Property Tax
Since Texas does not have any income tax, the state government has to look at alternative sources of income. They have zeroed in on property taxes in this case. So the property taxes in Texas are pretty steep. So much so that the state has one of the highest property taxes in the country today. With a tax rate of 1.8%, you would end up paying a tax of $5,640 annually on a typical Texas home priced at $313,339.
4.2.5 Electricity Shortage
With a growing population and development, the state’s power grid is struggling to keep up. Moreover, Texans are seldom prepared for severe winters, given their warm climate. However, when a severe winter storm recently hit Texas, there was chaos with massive power outages. As a result, people were left without heat and electricity, and there were 210 deaths. Worse, this could happen again, and the state may face a blackout—the Texan power grid is not made to withstand such a climate.
4.2.6 Transportation Difficulty
The massive size of Texas can sometimes be a burden too. For example, transportation is a huge hindrance. If you tried to travel across Texas in one go, crossing the state would take 12 hours. Because of its size, Texas is into six zones: The Gulf Coast, Central Texas, South Texas, East Texas, The Panhandle, and West Texas. Although few attempt this massive drive, traveling across different metros takes a lot of time. For example, driving from Austin to Dallas will still take about three hours, and a trip from San Antonio to Dallas would take four hours.
4.2.7 Commuting Difficulty
You will undoubtedly have traffic jams when you have a fast-growing state with a great job market. In most of the metro, this is standard fare. Add to that the daily motor vehicle accidents. Texas is known for the most road accidents compared to any other state in the US. What’s scary is that in a 2018 Texas Department of Transportation study, there were 12,000 crashes resulting in 14,000 serious injuries. The prime reason for these accidents were traffic collisions and speeding.
4.2.8 No Seasons
That’s right. Texas has almost no seasons. It’s usually warm throughout the year, with mild temperature changes. For those who are used to a seasonal change in weather, you may grow bored of the weather here. Although it sounds good on paper, a perenially warm temperature forever may not be exactly what anybody ordered. So you will have to get used to if you plan to shift here.
4.2.9 Hot summers
When it gets hot in Texas, it can be sweltering. If you are not used to hot summers and get sick in high temperatures, don’t attempt shifting to Texas. Temperatures can hit the 80s and 90s during summer, which can be unbearable for some. For example, temperatures often cross 96 degrees Fahrenheit in Dallas and seldom fall below 88 degrees. On the other hand, if you hate winters, this is heaven for you.
4.2.10 A car is a must
Traveling in such a large state can be daunting unless you have a car. So you will find that most people in Texas prefer owning a car. There are around 17 million licensed drivers in the state, and in Houston alone, 92% of residents own a car. This is equally true for Austin and Dallas. Especially if you want to enjoy all the benefits of staying in these metros, you need a vehicle to move around comfortably.
4.2.11 Open-carry gun ownership
If you are moving to Texas from a state with minimal gun rights, you may be in for a shock in the Lone Star State. In Texas, many people carry a gun on their hips. In addition, Texas has an open gun culture, which can be scary and uncomfortable for some. However, if this does not affect you, go ahead with the move.
4.2.12 Metros are over-crowded
They say that if you take all the world’s population, you can fit them in Texas with tiny homes. That’s the kind of space the state has. However, today it is getting overcrowded in the metros. Texas has the country’s highest rural population, yet 84% of its population lives in metros. Expect to come across crowded places here.
4.2.13 The haves and the have-nots
While the average income in some pockets in the state is high, there are some areas where the average income is relatively low. Of course, the cost of living in these areas is low too. But with the growing population and boom towns today, housing prices and other costs are shooting up fast in some areas. But incomes haven’t kept pace, so that it would be difficult for people in areas with the fast-rising cost of living. In several cities, the range of per capita incomes swings from a low of $22,000 to a high of $42,000 annually. So if you plan a move to these areas, make sure you find a job that pays you enough to cover all costs.
4.2.14 Internet connectivity and speed
Although there seems to be an internet boom in most of the world, rural Texas has a long way to go regarding internet connectivity. While most major metros are well connected with high speed internet, the country is not a happy place to be if you depend on the internet for work and entertainment. Therefore, you should instead opt for the metros.
If you look at the sorry figures in Texas, about 1.2 million residents–mostly in rural areas– are without internet access. And another 2.7 million people have access to only one internet provider. Around 2.1 million people don’t have access to a wired high-speed connection.
4.2.15 High crime rates in certain areas
The crime rate in Texas is something to worry about. Violent and property crimes in Texas are above the national average. But, of course, that does not make Texas a dangerous place to live in because there are places with a crime rate lower than the national average.
The most dangerous places to live are Odessa, Beaumont, and the Houston metropolitan area if one goes by their average crime rates. However, as seen in the list above, Beaumont and Houston figure in our list of great places to stay despite the high crime rate. Therefore, you will have to search for areas with low-crime-rate neighborhoods if you want to move to these areas. This is why the research will get you the best places to live.
Texas is an excellent place to live if you know what you are looking for. The above article has laid bare the dos and don’ts for choosing your ideal location. Stick to these ideas, and you will find your perfect place. A rapidly growing economy promises excellent jobs, and with progress, the crime rate will surely come down over the years.
Ideal education systems in some of the places listed above and excellent infrastructure are the calling cards of these locations. Whatever or whenever you decide, do make sure that you check the latest facts and figures for all the information because stats change quickly when it comes to fast-developing states like Texas. One thing is for sure. There is no friendlier state than Texas, that’s half the battle won. The rest is up to you.