I’ve heard it said that living in Texas is like doing life on easy mode. It’s been 10+ years since I’ve moved to Texas and I can’t say I disagree.
Home to 29 million residents, Texas is the largest state in the contiguous United States and spans 268,596 square miles. As you can imagine, the geography of the state varies drastically from border to border.
East Texas is subtropical with humid summers and is akin to the deep south. West Texas is very similar to the Southwest with expansive desert landscapes and arid weather.
North Texas feels like it spans forever, with buttes and wildlife galore while south Texas is heavily inspired by the lively and colorful Mexican culture.
Regardless of where you choose to live in Texas, you’re bound to find yourself impressed by this relaxed state.
Without further ado, allow me to share my personal list of the pros and cons of living in Texas.
Photo courtesy of austintexas.org
Living in Texas
Note: This post is part of the Local Living Series, wherein locals share honest insights of living in a specific city through comprehensive pros and cons lists. If you’d like to reach out to the author directly with questions, please do so in the comments below and our team will ensure it gets to the right person.
Pros of Living in Texas
#1. The locals are genuinely friendly
The warmth of the people is, hands down, my favorite thing about living in Texas. In fact, of all the cities my husband and I have lived in to date (Portland, New York City), we’ve never found it easier to make friends.
If you’re open to striking up conversations and coming out of your comfort zone, you will find that Texas is a very friendly city. People are generally laid back and are strive to live a normal, no-frills life.
#2. Constant sunshine
Texas is encapsulated in a warm climate, so if you love sunny weather, you will find life in Texas enjoyable (almost) year round.
Winters in Texas are mild, warm and sunny. Snow is very rare, which is probably the biggest reason so many retirees choose to move to Texas.
But as you can imagine, pleasant winters typically mean super-hot summers and it’s true — Texas summers are very hot and humid (we’ll cover this shortly), but I’d happily sacrifice 3 months of hot temperatures for 9 months of pure bliss.
One thing is certain, it’s easy to enjoy the great outdoors while living in Texas thanks to the blissful weather and constant sunshine.
#3. No state income tax in Texas
Perhaps one of the biggest perks of moving to Texas is the lack of income taxes. It goes without saying that your take home pay will be much higher if you live in a state without state income tax (we moved from NYC which meant an increase of 10%!).
Obviously all states collect taxes one way or another and Texas chose to do so through a sales tax that is higher than surrounding states. But even still, the maximum combined tax rate is 8.25%, which is very low.
However, it’s worth noting that Texas has very high property taxes (which I’ll cover more shortly).
#4. The booming job market
Texas has one of the strongest economies in the country at the moment, which is a big reason why so many millennials are moving to Texas in droves.
Texas currently ranks first place for job growth and the trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.
Job growth in Austin alone is predicted to grow by 47% over the next 10 years, thanks to companies like Google and Tesla relocating.
The excellent job growth is attributed to the generous economic policies that appeal to large businesses and make moving to Texas a no-brainer.
#5. Affordable cost of living
The biggest reason I moved to Texas was because of the affordable cost of living. My earnings go a lot further in Texas than any other state I’ve lived in.
Houses are affordable, land is still cheap and you don’t need to work two jobs or live with roommates to scrape by.
What’s more, salaries in Texas are getting more and more competitive thanks to the influx of new companies.
I think the reason everything is “bigger in Texas” is because people have more money to spend here.
#6. Texas is diverse
Did you know that Texas is the second most diverse state in America? I don’t think people realize how diverse Texas is until they move here.
The state is also attracting large companies in record numbers, which only diversifies the state further. In the 10 years since I moved to Texas, the demographics have changed drastically and I’m curious to see what the next 10 years have in store.
#7. Texas state pride
There’s no place like Texas and Texans take great pride in that! I’ve never lived in a place with such strong state pride.
In fact, it’s not uncommon to see the Texas State flag flying high alongside (or instead of) the US flag. In many ways, Texas feels like its own country – from the vibrant and bold culture to the phenomenal festivals and entertainment. People love living in Texas and they want you to know it.
#8. Homes are still affordable in Texas
I don’t have to tell you that buying a home is not attainable for most Americans. The housing market across the nation has exploded to a point where starter homes aren’t even in the same timezone as affordable.
Texas is a rare exception in this regard because median home prices clock in at $300,000 on average, making them affordable for young home buyers.
It’s possible to live near (or even within) the large cities in Texas because home prices aren’t absurd. Believe me when I tell you that this perk of living in Texas can’t be overstated.
Cons of Moving to Texas
#1. You’ll need a car to get around while living in Texas.
Well, this con of living in Texas probably doesn’t need much explanation. Simply put, you’ll definitely need to own a car while living in Texas because things are spread far apart and public transportation is unreliable. Also, Texans love (big) cars, especially trucks.
#2. The summer heat
After moving to Texas, you’ll quickly learn that the intense summer heat is no joke, largely due to the state’s close proximity to the equator.
The humidity and heat can be overwhelming and downright shocking for folks that move to Texas before doing proper research.
Most Texans stay inside their AC’d homes and offices 24/7 during the summer months because the heat is intolerable. In fact, the hottest temperature on record in Texas clocked in at 120°!
It’s not uncommon for summer highs to exceed 100°F and thunderstorms are all but guaranteed come spring. Hurricanes are also quite common in Texas and cause property damage year after year.
My advice? Don’t make plans that don’t involve water during the hot summer days while living in Texas.
#3. Home prices are rising
The housing market in Texas is hot and homes prices are rising annually. If you feel that moving to Texas is imminent, I suggest doing it sooner rather than later.
In Austin alone, average home prices have increased by 30% over the past year — the highest increase in the country.
Who knows if homes in Texas will be affordable 5-10 years from now?
#4. Health quality
By and large, the quality of health care while living in Texas leaves much to be desired. Texas often ranks as one of the worst states in America for proper healthcare.
Texas has the highest rate of uninsured residents in the country (18.4%), which is striking when considering that it’s the third most populous state in America.
Keep this in mind if you’re moving to Texas for retirement. Existing health issues are more prone to getting neglected and the chance of illnesses going undiagnosed increases while living in Texas.
#5. The property taxes
Texas has some of the highest property taxes in the country. Ouch.
#6. Locals may not LOVE your moving here
Listen, I know this sentiment is not unique to life in Texas, but it warrants mention.
Like with any recently discovered place, locals aren’t too keen on transplants and treat newcomers with weariness. The unexpected popularity of living in Texas comes with growing pains, to be sure.
Some locals will give you the cold shoulder and blame you for the uptick in traffic and housing prices. This mentality is prevalent in many growing cities across the country. Try not to take it personally, we’re all merely chasing the best version of our lives and it’s okay to move around.
#7. The bugs!
Texas is one of the buggiest states in America! Between the massive cockroaches, intolerable mosquitos and hellish fire ants, the constant bombardment of bugs is one of the biggest cons of moving to Texas.
#8. Prone to allergies?
Texas ranks pretty highly as one of the worst states to live in for allergy sufferers and I can confirm that allergies are a bear to deal with while living in Texas.
It’s not uncommon to hear folks say they didn’t have allergies before moving to Texas. I guarantee that every household has allergy medicine and nasal sprays.
Moving to Texas? Things to Consider
#1. The politics
Texas is a red state and even with the recent influx of liberals, the state still sways red. You’ll see republican apparel and flags along the road and in every town, you can’t escape it.
If you’re a republican then you will feel comfortable and welcomed here. As a liberal, it may be harder to find your footing for a while, but it’s definitely possible.
#2. Gun culture
As you probably already know, Texas is a loud and proud gun carrying state. It’s not uncommon to see people openly carrying firearms while running errands.
Guns are a way of life in Texas. Expect to get invited to a gun range more than once by your new friends, it’s what folks do for fun around here.
#3. Football is a way of life
Football is religion while living in Texas. Everyone and their dog roots for one team or another so you better be prepared.
The passion isn’t reserved just for professional teams either! You’ll need to pick a favorite college team and maybe a high school team for good measure.
The exhilarating sports scene is alive and well in Texas, make no mistake about it.
Pros & Cons of Moving to Texas (Post Summary)
If you’re planning on moving to Texas, here’s a quick recap of the pros and cons of living in Texas. I hope you found this post helpful.
- The locals are friendly
- Access to outdoor recreation
- Constant sunshine
- No state income tax in Texas
- Booming job market
- Texas is diverse
- Affordable cost of living
- Homes are still affordable in Texas
- Home prices are rising
- You’ll need a car to get around
- The summer heat
- Health quality
- Property taxes
- Local’s won’t love your moving here
- The bugs
- The politics
- Gun culture
- Football is a way of life
Let me know in the comments! It’s always nice to hear from you!