The 2020 Guide to Moving to Texas – All You Need to Know About the Lone Star State

Have you been thinking about moving to Texas? When relocating to another state, especially the one as unique as the Lone Star State, it’s crucial that you get familiar with the area you’re coming to. We intend to do just that – introduce you to all that you need to know and prepare you for the new life ahead of you. Knowing the costs, best areas, job opportunities, pros, and cons will ensure you don’t run into any surprises. Be ready and know what to expect in the Lone Star State with our 2020 guide.

General Facts You Should Know Before You’re Ready for Moving to Texas

Everyone who decided to relocate here probably asked themselves – What should I know before moving to Texas? Well, there are some facts and figures that can help you get a better insight: The population of Texas is about 29 million people, which makes it the second-largest state in both size and population. It’s a very diverse and lively place with residents of many races and ethnicities. TX comes second in one more category – GDP.

The energy is never a problem because of the many wind farms that work perfectly, as well as the booming oil industry. The biggest and the most populous city isn’t the capital Austin, but Houston. Two more cities exceed one million residents. Those are San Antonio and Dallas. Many residents speak Spanish or the so-called “Spanglish.” This place is changing, developing, and growing rapidly partly because of the people that are moving here from all around the country. And we’ll try to explain why in more detail.

Moving and Living in Texas: What Does It Really Mean?

Once you come here, you will see that residing in TX means being surrounded by friendly and welcoming people, fantastic food, and warm but unpredictable weather. It is a place with a strong economy, plenty of oil, a booming job market, and many highways. A Texan life almost demands having a car, so consider getting auto transport. You’ll also be living among a lot of football fans and many folks passionate about barbecue. It’s hard to describe a place this big in just a few sentences, so let’s dig a bit deeper.

Moving to Texas Pros and Cons

What is a pro or a con mostly depends on what you want and what kind of lifestyle you lead. The rate of the ones who choose to relocate here grows, and this many people can’t be wrong when choosing TX for their new home.

Here's a list of the pros:

This is a place with a booming economy, and many high-tech companies are deciding to come to TX. That means that there are more and more job opportunities.

The food industry is diverse, and it continues to thrive and keep everyone happy and well-fed. Residents adore the variety of options – both expensive and affordable ones.

The median house value in TX is around $210,000, while the country’s median house value is almost $250,000. Just for the reference, the median home value in California is almost $580,000.

There are no taxes on your personal income, sales tax is moderate, and there is no inheritance tax.

Southerners are very friendly, especially the ones from TX. You will see someone waving at you and not wanting anything from you, so don’t be surprised.

This includes the affordable cost of living and housing, jobs, many places to go, a bunch of stuff to do, plenty of parks, and options for outdoor activities.

It’s one of the highest-rated in the country with its excellent schools and colleges.

TX doesn’t lack national parks and places for biking, hiking, boating, kayaking, and other activities in nature.

And what would be the cons?

If you’re moving from a small town to a big city, you will notice how much noise there is and how faster the pace of living is, especially if you chose to live in some of the Houston or Dallas neighborhoods.

This is something that bothers everyone. The traffic can be just horrible, especially if you choose to live in Houston or in some of the other bigger cities.

They are expensive when they add up. TX has over 50 toll roads, and if you’re not in a hurry, use the non-toll roads.

This is just something to be cautious about. TX has a history of hurricanes, and the last one happened three years ago.

There are also two more important facts that we didn’t want to sort in either of the lists. The weather here is very warm, the temperature can be extreme, there’s minimal rainfall, and the winters can be cold. If you love being in the sun and enjoying the heat, then TX is just the one for you. On the other hand, if you can’t stand the heat, think twice before coming.

Another thing is the gun policy. TX has a rich history with firearms, but some people might not want them around as much. Keep in mind that this is a very gun-friendly place – there are no laws regarding possession of any firearm regardless of age.

Take a good look at the pros and cons of becoming a TX resident

Cost of Living Varies Depending on the City, but It’s Generally Affordable

As we said, this place has a strong economy, but the expenses you’ll face depend on which part of TX you will choose to call home.

Settling down in larger cities and metropolises is always more costly than in a small town. When comparing the three most populated cities – Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas on the website Numbeo, you can see that the cost of living in Dallas is somewhat higher than in San Antonio. The cost of living in Austin, TX, is almost the same as in Dallas and Houston.

A Lot of Moves to TX Are Happening Because of the Low Cost of Living

Why are people moving to Texas? One of the reasons is the affordable cost of living. The most important thing you plan to relocate to is to plan your budget, and the best way to see how much you can expect to spend once you come here is to compare your current costs to those in your future city. Here’s a table showing the most common costs between the cities across the country.

Name of the cityAverage monthly net salary (after tax)Four-person family monthly costsSingle person monthly costs
Houston$4,100$3,100$875
Dallas$4,675$3,800$870
Austin$4,360$2,950$830
San Francisco$7,900$4,250$1,200
Seattle$5,800$4,100$1,150
Los Angeles$4,500$3,700$1,050

 

The Biggest Expense You Will Have Will Be the Rent

According to Numbeo, those who are living in Dallas, Houston, or Austin Texas spend 37%-41% of their salary on rent, which makes it their biggest expense. People spend 26%-29% of their income on groceries while the third most significant expense are the restaurants. The cost of transportation accounts for 7%-9% of the monthly income.

How much will you spend on the markets depends on your lifestyle

It’s Important to Know the Taxes in the Place You’ll Live In

TX is personal and corporate income tax-free. There’s also no inheritance or estate tax, which means that no death-related taxes are ever owed to TX. Effective real estate tax rates are higher than in most of the other states (it’s some of the highest in the US) but other than that, it is considered tax-friendly.

What Taxes Can You Expect?

There’s a moderate sales tax of 6.25% and a total sales tax of 8.25% when the state and local sales taxes are combined. Property taxes are 1.83% which is among the highest in the country – TX residents pay an average of $2,775 in property taxes every year. There are also some other goods that are taxed:

  • Regular and diesel gasoline is taxed 20 cents per gallon
  • Both beer and wine are taxed with 20 cents per gallon
  • Liquor is taxed at $2.40 per gallon
  • Live music or movie tickets, television service (whether cable or satellite),
  • and internet access are taxed
  • Any kind of automobile parking or some kind of storage service are also subject to sales tax
  • Hotel occupancy tax is 6% of the cost of a hotel room
  • Manufactured housing tax that equals 3.25% of a home’s sale price
  • Fireworks tax is 2% of the sale
Inheritance tax was repelled in 2015

There Are Plenty of Job Opportunities Waiting for You

TX is economically strong, and it’s constantly changing, expanding its job market, and offering many opportunities to those who come here. Having in mind the whole pandemic situation, which has greatly affected the economics of the country, the unemployment rate in TX is 12.8%. It’s lower than the national rate of 14.7%. The income depends on the occupation, but if we’re considering all of TX, the average salary would be $65,000. Top employer companies in TX are:

  • Texas A&M University
  • Shell Deepwater Development
  • University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • Dell Inc.

Having that in mind, you should also know what are the highest paying jobs here. If you happen to be an anesthesiologist, surgeon, dentist, or a psychiatrist, know that your salary can be around $200,000.

Where Should You Find a Home If You’re Relocating for a Job?

One of the first things to consider when relocating for a job is who are the biggest employers and where they are located. You don’t want to spend half of your day stuck in the traffic, so it would be convenient for you to reside in the city you work in. Many businesses have headquarters in Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Irving, and Plano, while  some of the largest companies that have headquarters in TX are mostly in Houston:

  • Exxon Mobil Corp.
  • Phillips 66
  • Valero Energy Corp.
  • AT&T Inc.

After all, we strongly recommend that you learn how to get a job before you move and to be sure that you will have a safe source of income once you relocate.

Finding a job before you move somewhere grants you safety and stability

Schools and Hospitals Here Are Highly Rated

TX is well known for its fantastic universities, great public schools, and big hospitals. If you’re relocating because you plan to study here, or you’re moving while pregnant, and you want to raise your children in TX, great schools and hospitals will be one of the factors to decide for this place. Some of the nation’s top universities like The University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University, and the University of Houston are here, and there are many amazing school districts like Eanes Independent in Austin. Houston and Dallas have some of the top hospitals in TX, like Houston Methodist Hospital and UT Southwestern Medical Center.

Houston has the biggest number of highly-rated hospitals

Many People Are Moving From California to Texas

TX is growing each day with new residents, and many are moving to Texas from California. The number of Californians arriving hit up 86,164 in 2017, and that has increased by 36 percent, according to a 2020 Texas Relocation Report. Californians take a strong first place in the number of those who came to TX.

Why Are Californians Moving to Texas?

TX offers a business-friendly environment with no state income tax, cheaper cost of living, and an abundance of jobs. There’s plenty of land,  opportunities, and friendly spirit. A Californian in TX will notice how many similarities there are – both are large states with the highest populations in the country. They are both growing fast, and they are both economically crucial to America. They are both diverse, and 30% of their respective populations speak Spanish. With their warm climate, beaches, and deserts, it would seem that you’re in the same place, but with cheaper expenses and fewer taxes.

What Are the Best Places to Live In?

Where should I move in Texas? The answer might not be easy because there are many amazing cities with beautiful homes, suburbs, and neighborhoods, and it all depends on what kind of preferences you’ve got. If you plan on moving to the suburbs, you should consider some of the Austin suburbs like Lakeway or West Lake Hills. Dallas suburbs such as Frisco and Plano also offer the amazing quality of living, and so do Houston suburbs like Katy and Sugarland. If you want to be closer to the city center, check out the best neighborhoods in Austin and Dallas. Don’t think that it’s all about these three large metro areas – TX has much more to offer than just Houston neighborhoods. Some other highly-ranked places are:

  • Canyon Creek South in Richardson
  • Timberbrook in Plano
  • Heights Park in Richardson
  • Alamo Heights in San Antonio
  • Terrell Hills in San Antonio
  • Oakland Estates in San Antonio

Moving to Texas Checklist of Things to Do and See

This place is so big that it has something for everyone. For every nature lover, there are hiking and rock climbing in the canyons of El Paso. National parks such as the Big Bend have epic landscapes, wine tours in Hill Country offer an amazing experience, while you can also go to the lakes or the shore of the Gulf Coast and enjoy the water. Rent a boat and go for kayaking, or just take your bike and set off to the woods.

History lovers who reside in TX can always go to a different place worth visiting – from the plentiful museums to the Alamo, and other monuments to prehistoric marks that have been preserved from the age of dinosaurs like in the Dinosaur Valley State Park. Native tribes had been on this land as well. If you love history, you will love TX.

If you are planning on relocating with your family, know that there are plenty of things to do in Dallas with kids, such as visiting the Dallas World Aquarium. If you’re going to the capital, you can visit Patterson Park, which is one of the top things to do in Austin with kids.

Going to the Houston ZOO is one of the top things to do in Houston with kids

Food Is a Part of Their Culture

You’ve probably heard this already, but the food is really a big deal here for both vegetarians and meat-eaters. Barbecue is finger-licking good, and so are Tex-Mex, tacos, chili, and nachos. Because of its diversity, TX has an amazing and colorful offer of dishes. You will find seafood joints, Chinese and Thai cuisine, Indian, Turkish, Italian, Mexican, and many others, but also the traditional American dishes. Whataburger is a sort of religion, and so are the frozen Margaritas.

There are plenty of street food joints that make you fall in love with TX even more, but you can also book a table at some of the best restaurants in Dallas, Austin, and Houston. Once you book a table at some of these locations and taste their freshly-made meals, you will see why so many people live to tell their stories of how good the Texan food is.

You can order take-out, but it’s always better to enjoy the ambient of the restaurants such as these:

  • Franklin Barbecue with possibly the best brisket in TX
  • Veracruz All Natural for delicious breakfast tacos
  • Emmer & Rye for amazing pasta and pastry
  • Garcia’s Mexican Food if you’re hungry for some Tex-Mex
  • Pho Dien for a warm bowl of some outstanding Pho
TX is home to amazing barbecue

A Final List of Things to Know Before Moving to Texas

Is Texas a good state to move to? Well, according to the things we listed, we would say yes. A final list of important info you should keep in mind before you come here would look like this:

  • If you’re considering relocating to a big city for a job, and excellent schools, think about moving to Houston, Dallas, or Austin
  • If you’re looking for buying a real estate, there are affordable housing options
  • Quality of life is high
  • Taxes are low
  • Skies are clear in TX most of the year, and the temperatures can be high
  • Cultural and racial diversity is what makes this place special
  • 380 airports are serving the travelers
  • TX has the second-largest civilian workforce in America of 14 million
This is a place that offers everything you need

Wisely Choose a Relocation Company

When it comes to saying bye to friends and going to another place, it is crucial to have someone reliable to work with. This is your life we’re talking about, so don’t let some scam movers rip you off. You will need stress free moving, and that can only happen if you’re working with professionals like Houston or Dallas long-distance movers that provide all kinds of services. Packing demands a lot of time and patience, so if you don’t want to bother with learning how to choose the best-sized boxes or how to remove a chandelier, it’s better to leave that to those who can handle that with adequate equipment and expertise. There are many benefits of hiring professional movers, like getting a month free of storage – whether on pick up or delivery location, but the most important is that you will have safe and relaxed relocation experience.

Written By: Christina Henry