What Are the Perks of Living in Texas?

is texas a good state to live in

Since the 16th century, six nations have ruled over the state of Texas. There is something magical about this wonderful region. Some folks that have moved here claim that it is the friendly nature of the people that is enchanting!

The Lone Star state is widely known for live music, guns, and sizzling barbeques. Its history is filled with epic events, the remnants of which are now great tourist attractions. The hip-hop culture of Houston, the “live music capital of the world” (Austin), and the still-existing cowboy lifestyle are unique to this state.

For folks that are fond of visiting exciting places, there are plenty of recreational spots. But Texas is not all fun and games, it boasts an exceptional public school system. It is home to some of the top universities such as Texas A&M.

Long story short, Texas has a lot to offer to its residents. In this article, we uncover the most important facts about how it is like to be a Texan. From job opportunities to ‘Taxes in Texas’, we want to help you get valuable information so that you may make up your mind on whether to move (or not) to Texas!

All you have to do is follow along with us. The last thing – after you have decided to move to Texas, take a look at our list of top cities.

Let’s start the journey and find out the pros and cons of living in Texas!

Benefits of Living in Texas

As they say, “Everything’s Bigger in Texas”, so are the benefits. For the second-largest US state, this statement comes as no wonder.

Job Opportunities

Fortunately, yes. Texas welcomes people who love hard-earned money. It has a booming oil and gas job market as well as that of real estate. Other than that, the citizens are employed in agriculture, renewable energy, tourism, and technology. So, there is no need to worry. If you have a good academic and professional background, you’re in for a treat!

Time for some explicit facts. About 90+ companies in Texas make it to the list of fortune 1000. The unemployment rate remained around 0.5 – 0.8% higher than in the US. The annual average income totaled approximately $63,000 that is lower than the national average. But don’t let that misguide you since the cost of living is also low.

Low Cost of Living

Let the numbers tell the truth! The Missouri Economic Research and Data Center ranked Texas as having the 15th lowest cost of living in the US for the third quarter of 2021. 

Even though the real estate business is on the rise, houses are much more affordable as compared to the entire US.

Better Weather

You can escape the extreme winter of the northern part of the US by moving to Texas. The summers can be hot and humid though with an average high temperature in the range of 86–100 oF (30–38 oC). The winters are tolerable with an average low in the range of 32–44 oF (0-7oC).

It receives plenty of sunlight days throughout the year. That makes Texas one of the best places if you plan to go solar. You can also enjoy a natural tan in the bright sunlight.

Lower Overall Tax Burden

No one likes to pay hefty taxes. We all want to keep the money we earned in our pockets. Thanks to the state rules, there is no tax on your income in Texas. Yes, you read it right – no personal income tax! However, the federal income tax is still imposed.

The sales tax in Texas is moderate at 6.25%. Though the property tax is higher than the average, Texas has a lower overall tax burden.

Both Urban and Rural Areas

Want to participate in big events, work in a high-paying company or receive the finest healthcare services? Texas urban life is ‘at your disposal’! Or do you want to breathe fresh air, be a part of a tight-knit community and spend your time in tranquility? Texas rural life brings you all that.

Notable urban areas in the Lone Star state include Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, and Austin. You may move to King County, San Augustine County, Newton County, etc. to get the taste of calm rural life.

Family-Friendly State

what is it like to live in texas

Attention, family folks! Did you know that Texas is a family-friendly state? House prices are quite below the national average. Public schools provide quality education to your children while you won’t have to pay the tuition fees.

Take your family to River Walk, the Alamo, Houston Space Center, the great Big Bend National Park, Joyland Park, National Butterfly Center, Amarillo Zoo. The list goes on!

Enjoy the refreshing events such as Houston Children Festival, South Padre Island’s Sandcastle Days, State Fair in Dallas, Texas Renaissance Festival in Magnolia, Lewisville’s Western Days Festival, etc.

Treat yourself and your family to typical appetizing meals at restaurants located statewide.

Best Places to Live in Texas

Texas looks (somewhat) attractive now – agreed? We are taking you a step further and revealing a brief list of the best places to live in this state.

Austin

pros and cons of living in austin tx

Immerse yourself in the lush and modern city life of the state capital, Austin. The city is home to the famous Lady Bird Lake, Lake Travis, and McKinney Falls. Austin is called “The Live Music Capital of the World” so you know you have a great source of entertainment. Austinites enjoy the mesmerizing show of colorful glow across the hills just after the sunset. This gives Austin the title of “City of the Violet Crown”.

Austin is a hub of technology as well as business. Some big names among Fortune 500 such as Google, IBM, AMD, NXP semiconductors, 3M, etc. are located here. The city houses the University of Texas at Austin.

The typical home price in Austin is around $570,000. The average rent is around $1500 per month.

San Marcos

San Marcos is a small city, home to about 70,000 people, at the bank of the San Marcos River. The city won a place in Business Week’s fourth annual list of the “Best Places to Raise your Kids” in 2010.

Summers are hot and humid, while the winters are mild to cool. Private and public schools are available for students. For college students, there is Texas State University. Transportation facilities including the airport are also available.

Citizens may visit the serene William & Eleanor Crook Park, Stokes Park, Five Mile Dam Park to get refreshing vibes. Though the median annual income is around $40,000, the typical house price is around $330,000.

Denton

pros and cons of living in denton tx

You don’t get bored in Denton because of its active music life, Denton Arts and Jazz Festival, and North Texas State Fair. Summers are hot and humid with mildly cool winters.

Denton is also great for college students who can get themselves enrolled in any of the two universities located here. The citizens are served by a bus as well as a commuter rail service.

Numerous picnic spots are dispersed throughout the city. The list includes Doubletree Ranch Park, Little Elm Park, South Lakes Park, Pilot Knoll Park, Ray Roberts Lake State Park – you name it.

The median home price in the city of Denton is $266,964. The average rent is $1,082 versus the estimated living wage of $20.53 per hour.

Plano

Plano has witnessed an immense population increase in the past three to four decades. It was ranked number one in the livability index by AreaVibes in 2013.

Among the top 10 employers, we have Capital One Finance, DXC Technology, Toyota Motor North America, Frito-Lay, etc. The city houses several parks, recreational spots, performing art venues as well as parks for dog-owners!

Plano is home to more than 50 public schools, over 10 private schools, and two campuses of Colling college. Train lines, bus services, and airports are available for providing transportation services to the residents.

The typical house price is around $350,000 with average house rent of $1,390.

San Antonio

pros and cons of living in San Antonio tx

Ever heard of the lush River Walk? You don’t want to miss out on a lovely stroll in this special street in San Antonio. Take your loved ones on a trip back in time through the historical Alamo.

It is the second-most populous city in Texas. Summers are long, hot, and humid with moderately cold winters. The job market is dominated by the military, healthcare, oil and gas, tourism, and financial services. San Antonio is home to big companies such as USAA, iHeartMedia, Valero Energy, etc.

The median home price in the city is around $202,634 with an average rent of $992 versus the estimated living average of $19.38 per hour.

Texas Job Market

One of the pressing concerns while moving to a new area is fetching a well-paying job. Yet another pressing issue is getting a job that fits your skills and experience. These should be the least of your concerns when you’re planning to move to Texas.  

Top Industries

Let’s see what are the top industries in Texas.

Agriculture

Agricultural production is one of the state’s primary economic generators. Don’t get it wrong though – you won’t need to learn farming to earn your living. The industry needs directors, managers, marketing specialists, even data scientists. In short, there is a treat for everyone.

Oil & Gas

Oil & Gas industry salaries are relatively higher. The good news is that Texas has a well-established oil industry. Daily crude oil production is more than 4,500 thousand barrels per day in the state. Though many workers had to lose jobs due to the oil crash during the pandemic in 2020, more than 120,000 employees are affiliated with the industry.

Wind Energy

Texas leads when it comes to wind energy – by a long shot. According to EIA, Texas produced about 93 billion kWh from wind energy in 2020 followed by Iowa producing 34 billion kWh. Diverse jobs such as wind energy analyst, project executive, energy estimating manager, accountant, turbine technician, etc. can be found easily.

Manufacturing

The manufacturing industry contributes significantly to the total output of the state – about 12.98%. Common job titles related to manufacturing include Production Operator, Manufacturing Operator, Manufacturing Engineer, Consultant – you name it.

Tourism

People love Texas! That’s the reason folks visit this place in millions annually. This steady flow of people has opened doors of opportunities for the tourism industry. The best part is that tourism itself consists of many other businesses such as transportation, accommodation, food and beverages, recreation, etc.

Top Employers

Whether you are planning to go big or you are just curious to know the big names in Texas – we have got you covered. Below you will find some of the top employers based in the Lone Star State.

CompanyCityNumber of EmployeesAnnual Revenue
Pizza HutPlano350,000$ 1.1 billion
AT&TDallas230,000$171.8 billion
DellRound Rock165,000$94 billion
American AirlinesFort Worth133,700$17.34 billion
ExxonMobilIrving72,000$178.57 billion
Foxconn Assembly LLCHouston803,126$165.6 billion
Carlson RestaurantsDallas175,000$0.6 billion
Livestock InvestorsHereford125,000-
Frito-LayPlano50,000$15.8 billion
SyscoHouston66,500$52.9 billion

Texas Real Estate Market

Real Estate in Texas

There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort. Finding the right place of residence can be a daunting task. Everyone has a checklist of ‘expectations’ including the budget and size, which are not always easy to meet.

Let’s find out the growing markets and also look at how affordable they can be.

Fastest Growing Markets

The musical and modern vibe of Austin seems to have mesmerized the professionals in permanently settling there. In Austin, the population has risen by 33.7% in the past decade. Home prices have witnessed a significant increase in Flower-Mound due to a 22.4% rise in population from 2010 – 2020. Other affordable and fast-growing markets include Fort Worth, Grand Prairie, Irving, Katy, and Round Rock. Among these, Fort Worth is a big city with a population of over 900,000 residents. 

Most Affordable

Everyone wants a bigger house on a limited budget. Among major cities, Wichita Falls has the least expensive houses followed closely by Brownsville. You may expect a typical home price of around $117,000 in these cities. A major plus point is that the cost of living is notably lower than the average across the US. Other affordable big cities include Laredo, Amarillo, Beaumont, Lubbock, and Waco.

Population Growth

Population growth is a sign of a healthy and developing real estate market. Over the last ten years, major cities like Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, and Fort Worth have attracted over 100,000 permanent residents. 

Not fond of the hustle and bustle of big cities? – suburb areas might suit your liking. People are flocking to suburbs such as Frisco, McKinney, Conroe, and New Braunfels.

Texas Cost of Living

Daily life expenses determine what type of lifestyle you can afford. Why not look at some of the daily living expenses if you plan to live in the Lone Star State.

Housing

Texas offers houses for every class of citizens. Among cities, the home prices can range from $570,000 at one end to $115,000 at the other. The rent may range from $1500 per month to $760 per month depending on your location.

Food

Food is life! Groceries cost the same as or below the national average in most of the Texas cities such as Wichita Falls, Lubbock, Brownsville, Waco, Killeen, etc. 

According to MIT, the monthly food expenses of a single adult totals $264.75 per month or $3,177 per year here. If your family consists of two adults (one working) and two children, you may expect to expend $775.4 per month. 

Taxes

Here comes the much-awaited question – what are the Taxes in Texas? We have some good news and some not-so-good news.

Let’s break the good news first. There is no state income tax. Federal income tax may be applied though. 

Property taxes are applicable but are collected by cities, school districts, and counties. The state has implemented a sales tax of 6.25% also. The cities and counties may ask for an additional 1-2% sales tax. In 2019, a franchise tax of 0.375% is applied to some retail businesses.

Other taxes include hotel tax, gas tax, cigarette tax, and fireworks tax.

Transportation

Transportation is an important element of daily life for all age groups. Fuel is required to power this element. Thus, fuel prices directly regulate your transportation costs. Since Texas has major oil fields the fuel prices are lower as compared to other big states. For instance, regular gasoline costs $2.992 per gallon in Texas. Compare that to Washington – $3.877 per gallon, Nevada $3.965 per gallon, and Illinois – $3.558 per gallon.

Texas Culture & Demographics

Texas’ culture has deep connections with history, immigration, cowboys, art, and music. One thing common among the majority of Texans is their friendly nature. People embrace new citizens with open arms.

Population Diversity

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 41.8% of the population is white (not Hispanic or Latinothe), 39.7% are Hispanic (or Latino), 12.9% are African-American, 5.2% are Asian, 1.0% are Alaska Native and 0.1% are Native Hawaiian. 

Sports

Texans have an intense fondness for American football which is passionately followed throughout high schools and colleges. The Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans are two state-level National Football League (NFL) franchises. Baseball is another sport that has a large fan base. Texas has two Major League Baseball teams and several college-level teams that participate in the College World Series. 

The state is home to three NBA (basketball) teams. One of them is the San Antonio Spurs that is considered among the top NBA franchises in history.

Other popular games include Horse racing, Ice Hockey and Soccer. 

Did you know that Rodeo is the official state sport of Texas? Professional Rodeo events take place throughout the year.

Music

The Lone Star State has remained a central place in the development of several types of music such as Jazz, Hip-Hop, Rock ‘n Roll, Conjunto – you name it.

Austin is well known for its live music. The Texas Music Museum is located in this city. “Levitation” is an annual event hosted to celebrate psychedelic music in Austin. Major cities associated with the music culture include Corpus Christi, Dallas, Denton that hosts 35 Denton and Denton Jazz and Arts Festival, Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio.

Culinary

Good food adds color to life. The traditional Texas meals will arouse your appetite as soon as we mention their names. Here goes the mouth-watering list of food you will have in Texas:

Tex-Mex, Barbecue, Chicken fried steak with cream gravy, Menudo – the traditional beef tripe stew, Fried sopapillas pastries, Pecan pie, Chili, Yummy Tacos, etc.

You will also love the food truck culture in the state of Texas.

Retiring in Texas

Your golden years should be the most enjoyable and peaceful days of your life. Texas is here to make that dream come true. The no-state-income-tax policy is also applicable to your retirement income. For senior citizens planning to kick start their second career, many cities provide the opportunity.

Enjoy the best tan during sunny days in summer. Make new friends in dozens of retirement communities spread throughout the state. Plan a trip to places you have always dreamt of.

Best Things To Do in Texas

The list is long! 

Visit “The Alamo” in San Antonio and find out what’s with the slogan “Remember the Alamo”. Have a nice stroll along “The River Walk”, ride in a boat, or dine by the riverside.

Take your family to the Space Center, Houston. Have a look at rocks from the Moon and Mars, explore the replica of America’s first space station (the Skylab), and possibly bump into an astronaut!

Look in awe at the wild beauty of nature at the Big Bend National Park. Challenge yourself on the hiking trails, enjoy the beautiful campgrounds, watch hundreds of bird species.

Get yourself registered on the guided tour of the Texas State Capitol in Austin. Dig deep into the history of the state at the Bullock Texas State History Museum. 

Don’t forget to visit the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas. Immerse in the old Texan culture at the Fort Worth Stockyards and witness the cool things, such as rodeos and concerts.

Fun Facts in Texas

Are you ready for the fun facts about the Lone Star State? 

  • Amarillo is home to the world’s largest helium well. 
  • Six different nations have ruled over this state. They include Spain, France, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, the Confederate States, and the United States.
  • Texas is the only state to join the US by a treaty without territorial annexation.
  • Central Texas is often called the Silicon Valley of the South.
  • Dr. Pepper originated in Texas.
  • Texas has its own power grid that is independent of the rest of the US.
  • The fastest road in the entire nation is located near Austin.

Strange Laws in Texas

It is time to introduce you to some of the strange laws you have come across. 

  • Feather dusting in public buildings is not allowed
  • You cannot use your neighbor’s garbage without their permission
  • In some cities, you are not allowed to walk barefoot. A 5$ permit is required to do so.
  • It is against the law to commit a crime without notifying the victim first. The nature of crime also needs to be mentioned in the verbal or written 24 hours notice.
  • You are not allowed to shoot a buffalo from the second story of a hotel.
  • If two unrelated people (over 18 years old) publicly declare that they are married 3 times, it becomes a legal marriage.

Drawbacks of Living in Texas

Yes – there are some drawbacks too. You have the right to know them.

Health Quality

The Lone Star State has failed to get impressive scores as far as healthcare quality is concerned. The 2019 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report mention that “Some Southern and Southwestern states (District of Columbia, New Mexico, and Texas),……had the lowest overall quality scores.” The report is issued every year by a national center on research and healthcare quality.

Hurricanes

Nature sometimes gets extreme in such a large state. It results in hurricanes that can cause great damage to your property. Keeping this in mind you should have some kind of insurance.

Crime

An increase in violent crimes has been reported by the Texas Department of Public Safety in 2020. It is said to be the second most concerned state in gun violence.

Super Hot Summers

Summers here are intense. Temperatures may cross 100 degrees on the hottest days. The humidity adds fuel to the fire.

Challenging Intrastate Travel

Texas is huge – remember? It is bigger than every country in Europe! Thus, moving from north to south of Texas can get challenging, tiring, and costly.

Traffic

“Everything’s Bigger in Texas” – right? The same goes for the traffic. The reason is obvious. The Texas Transportation Institute of Texas A&M University claims that it is due to a 172% increase in the number of registered vehicles in the past four decades. On the other hand, the highway capacity has only increased by 19%!

FAQs

Is living in Texas worth it?

Living in Texas has its pros and cons. You may rule out the cons by carefully selecting the city and area of residence. Thus it can be justified that living in Texas is indeed worth it – especially when you consider the benefits.

What do I need to do to move to Texas?

Moving is always stressful. You have to be careful about three phases of the process: Before moving, during your move and after your items have been delivered. Don’t worry, follow these guidelines issued by the state government and you will be ok.

Why are houses in Texas so cheap?

It’s true that houses in Texas are relatively cheaper. As it turns out, there are multiple reasons behind it. Texas is huge and thus it has a great measure of buildable land. Moreover, the daily living expenses are also very affordable. Labor is also cheap in the state of Texas.

What part of Texas has the best weather?

Texas receives a lot of sunlight, thus it may become problematic to be there in the summer. Still, there are parts in this big state that have favorable weather. Some claim that it’s the city of Houston and its surroundings. Some suggest the answer to be Panhandle, particularly around and north of Amarillo.

Conclusion

Texas is a lively state that is home to friendly people, exciting history, and several recreational spots. The state has got something for everyone. It can be a great place of residence. Plenty of job opportunities, quality education, and low cost of living are its great selling points.

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