Moving to Texas can be the best decision you’ve made in a long, long time. The Lone Star State has so much to offer to newcomers that it’s fairly easy to see why people are moving to Texas… in droves.
But why is everyone moving to Texas, exactly? The second-largest U.S. state boasts a booming economy, a thriving job market, fairly affordable housing, fast-growing cities, plenty of sunshine throughout the year, top-notch higher education, beautiful nature, and much more.
But as you can imagine, living in Texas is not all sunshine and roses (although the sunshine part does seem to be true). Just like any other U.S. state, there are a few drawbacks to moving to Texas as well, so it pays to be well informed before you begin to pack up your first boxes.
Find below the major pros and cons of living in Texas. These advantages and disadvantages of your new life in the Lone Star State will show you the most important things you need to know before moving to Texas.
Pros of moving to Texas
You’ll be happy to learn that there are some great reasons to move to Texas – after all, chances are that you have friends or acquaintances who have already moved to Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Austin, Fort Worth, or maybe to another more remote part of that enormous state.
Here are the major advantages of moving to Texas:
Amazing job opportunities
One of the major reasons why people move to Texas is the state’s booming economy and the great job opportunities that come with it. The state has the second-highest gross state product in the United States (after California) and if it were a sovereign country, the Lone Star State would have the 10th-largest economy in the world.
It’s important to note that Texas has a diversified economy – the oil, gas, and mining industries have long been the major contributors to the state’s economy but the energy, IT, aerospace, agriculture, and tourism sectors have created countless new jobs as well. As of 2022, the state has the most Fortune 500 company headquarters (53) in the country.
According to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the state of Texas ranks at first place for job growth, and the trend is not predicted to slow down in the foreseeable future.
So, are you looking for a (better) job? And if yes, then what are you waiting for?
The cost of living in Texas is affordable
Possibly the biggest advantage of moving to Texas is that the cost of living in the state is unexpectedly affordable. To be more precise, the average cost of living in Texas is 7% lower than the national average.
When it comes to housing costs, the median home prices in Texas were $350,000 in the fall of 2021 – that’s about 8% lower than the national average housing costs of $380,000. There’s good news for renters too – the median monthly rent for a 2-bedroom apartment in Texas is roughly 4% lower than the national average monthly rent of about $1,300.
It’s fair to say that since Texas is huge, the cost of living ranges in various cities will be different – some rank about 23% lower while others are up to 12% higher than the average national values.
Therefore, it’s worth checking beforehand the cost of living in the Texas city or town you’re moving to in order to avoid unpleasant surprises when you arrive at your destination.
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Warm weather and plenty of sunshine
If you live in a cold state, then maybe you’ve had enough of the long and cold winters up there. A great solution for you would be to move to Texas.
Winters in Texas are mild, warm, and sunny. You will very rarely see snow anywhere in the state during the winter months and if you do, it’ll most likely be in some parts of North Texas. The constant sunshine throughout the year proves to be an irresistible magnet for retirees from all over the country.
The annual temperature average in the state remains at 65°F. However, Texas is so big that some areas experience subtropical weather while others have dry desert weather.
Thus said, it’s fair to say that summers in Texas can be relentlessly hot and humid, especially in August, with temperatures around high 90s °F, occasionally reaching over 100°F.
An abundance of outdoor activities
One of the benefits of living in Texas is the great number of outdoor activities you can enjoy throughout the year. Thanks to the warm weather year-round (minus the sweltering summer heat), there will always be new and exciting places to explore in the open for you as an outdoor enthusiast after you move to Texas.
The second-largest state offers one of the most diverse ecosystems in the country – from flat plains and deserts, to mountains, canyons, and wetlands, Texas has it all. There are millions of acres of forests in East Texas, with a good number of state and national parks.
Big Bend National Park in West Texas protects more than 1,200 species of plants, more than 450 species of birds, 56 species of reptiles, and 75 species of mammals. Franklin Mountains State Park is located in El Paso and is one of the largest urban parks in the country, offering year-round recreational hiking, mountain biking, picnicking, and scenic driving.
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Top-rated higher education
The state of Texas has more than 200 colleges and universities, so if you wish to continue your education or if your son or daughter has just graduated from high school, then moving to Texas can definitely be the right choice for you, either individually or together as a family.
Two of the very best universities in the country are located in the Lone Star State: The University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University. Also, the University of Houston and Texas Tech University are recognized by experts as flagship universities in the United States.
There are numerous family-friendly cities with reputable schools, both public and private. So, if education has a high priority for you, as it should, then you should seriously consider moving to and living in Texas as an excellent way to obtain a high(er) level of education for you or for your children.
No state income tax
Why is everyone moving to Texas? One of the reasons for the relocation phenomenon is that Texas has no personal income tax.
Currently, only 8 U.S. states do not levy state income taxes: Wyoming, Washington, Texas, Tennessee, South Dakota, Nevada, Florida, and Alaska. As a side note, the state of New Hampshire doesn’t tax earned wages.
So, if you’re living in a state that levies a high income tax (such as California, for example), then your decision to move to Texas can let you save thousands of dollars a year.
However, like the rest of the no-income-tax states, property taxes are higher than average in Texas and the sales tax is higher than the ones in the surrounding states.
Texans are genuinely friendly
One of the perks of living in Texas is that Texans are well known for their southern hospitality. After moving to Texas, you’re still likely to go through an adaptation period… but the instances of being greeted in the streets by complete strangers or being smiled at by passers-by should definitely accelerate the much-dreaded post-move acclimatization.
As long as you’re open to striking up conversations and you’re willing to come out of your comfort zone once in a while, you should find Texas to be a friendly place where it’s fairly easy to make new friends.
You’re very likely to find most Texans to be genuinely friendly but you should also be aware that they are generally very proud of their state and proud of who they are, and as a result, they can sometimes become somewhat touchy if you happen to say something bad about their state or their Texan way of living.
An interesting fact is that the name of the state comes from the word taysha which means friends in the Caddo language – a critically endangered Native American language.
Texans know how to have fun
One of the major reasons to move to Texas is that the state offers a lot of fun activities and Texans, in general, know how to have fun. Add these two things together and you yourself should get ready for thrilling adventures after the move.
- Sports. If you love sports, then you’ll definitely enjoy your life in Texas. Football still remains the number one sport in the state, but you can easily enjoy a wide range of other sports as well. The Lone Star State features sports teams in all the Big Four professional sports leagues: Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans (NFL), Texas Rangers and Houston Astros (MLB), San Antonio Spurs, Houston Rockets, and Dallas Mavericks (NBA), and Dallas Stars (NHL).
- Rodeos. The biggest livestock exhibitions and rodeo in the world takes place in Houston. Founded in 1931, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo (RodeoHouston or HLSR) lasts 20 days and features one of the richest professional rodeo events in the world.
- State fairs. The State Fair of Texas, held annually in Dallas, lasts 24 days and attracts more than 2 million visitors each year. Founded in 1886, it is regarded as one of the best state fairs in the country.
- Texas cuisine. Another great reason to move to Texas is the unique cuisine you’ll find in the state. Tex-Mex is a delicious fusion between southern American dishes and traditional Mexican meals. Also, the Texas BBQ recipes have been perfected for years and Texans are deservingly proud of their barbeque as you’ll soon find out after your relocation there.
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