Moving to Dallas, Texas
Moving to Dallas, Texas
With Dallas’ reputation for having a fast growing population and number of jobs available, we are not surprised that you are considering moving to Dallas soon. Indeed, this booming city is sought after by all sorts of individuals and families due to its merits, perks, and everything else in between!
However, moving is never easy, especially if it’s a different state you plan to move to. If you are thinking about moving to Dallas, scroll down for some basics you need to keep in mind. What is daily life like in the Big D? Are the people nice? Are groceries cheap? Are the schools any good?
We tackle these questions and go over some cool things unique to this huge Texas city. Having a thorough understanding of the following reduces uncertainty and helps you brace for the challenges of moving to Dallas.
What is the DFW metroplex?
Together with Arlington and Fort Worth, Dallas comprises the so-called Dallas/Fort Worth Metropolitan Area, or as it is sometimes simply called, the DFW metroplex. It is a huge, sprawling mass of land teeming with buildings and all things city. This is important to note because Dallas is sometimes mixed up with the metroplex, and vice versa. Sometimes, people outside of Dallas also confuse it with Fort Worth. This is a no-no, seeing how some Dallas residents feel quite competitive against people from Fort Worth and other neighboring areas.
What is the cost of living?
One of the most essential things to know before moving to another city is its cost of living. How much do you need to subsist comfortably in your preferred city per day, month, or year? You can find a lot of information online pertaining to the cost of living in Dallas, but not all of them are helpful or easy to grasp. For example, sometimes websites give you vague indexes and other figures that your college maths never quite prepared you for.
This is why we thought about tackling this question a little more realistically. To set some perspective, a cup of coffee in Dallas should set you back around $5. Add $2 to $3 to that and you can afford a typical fast food meal. However, if you want to upgrade to a decent sit-down lunch, you have to double that new total at least, or prepare at least $40 if you are taking someone out. Cocktails cost around $10 on average in downtown bars.
Meanwhile, utility costs for a one-person household should amount to about $100 per month. Rent ranges from $1,200 to $1,600 on average. While the first set of amounts we gave appear fairly reasonable, housing costs are a little more than the average for the entire US. Whether that is reasonable or not depends on how much you value the benefits of living in Dallas: the environment, accessibility, facilities, employment opportunities, etc.
Anything to know about taxes?
In Texas, residents do not pay state and income taxes. Sounds good, right? However, as expected, there is a catch. Property and sales taxes in this state are noticeably higher than in other states. This is not surprising at all. Any state would need a source of funds for local projects!
This is something to keep in mind if you are purchasing a residential property in Dallas. Right now, Texas residents pay real estate taxes amounting to more or less $3,400. For perspective, the average amount across the US is just a little over $2,000. That reflects a discrepancy of about 59%, which is a big deal especially if you are an ordinary working class individual.
What is the job market like?
Dallas has a booming job market and high salaries. One reason for this is that Dallas and its neighboring areas are home to many top corporations, and many of them have their corporate headquarters in the Big D. These companies include AT&T, Southwest Airlines, JCPenney, Fossil, ExxonMobil, Kronos, Baylor Healthcare System, and more.
The city is also known for being a favorable environment for businesses. In fact, Forbes magazine once hailed Dallas as one of the “best places for business and careers.” There is also quite a wide range of industries. Regardless of your field and whether you prefer to work in an office or out on the field, you should find yourself happy and quite content in Dallas.
How much do houses cost?
Real estate or housing costs in Dallas are increasing. Currently, residential properties in the DFW area have a median value of approximately $228,000. This may not seem too alarming right now, but real estate consultants and experts believe that costs will continue to increase well into next year. The expected increase is around 6%.
The rent is not so manageable either. As we mentioned earlier, housing rent in Dallas can be anywhere from $1,200 to $1,600. These amounts are relatively higher than their counterparts in other Texas cities, such as Austin and Houston, but still a lot lower than prices in cities like New York and Boston, where rent can start at around $2,000.
What are good neighborhoods in Dallas?
You have to choose your neighborhood carefully. With the sheer size of the city, you can’t just expect everything to be within a short drive away from everything else. Moreover, the different areas or small regions comprising Dallas can differ a lot in terms of profile and atmosphere. You definitely want to live where you fit in. Here, we attempt to profile some known residential areas in the city.
Let’s begin with East Dallas. This area is popular among nature and outdoor lovers because of the wide variety of recreational activities you can do here. The subdivisions in East Dallas are near a lake called White Rock, where residents and visitors often go for swimming, picnics, kayaking, and paddle boarding. The housing costs here are also relatively lower than in other Dallas areas. Hence, we recommend you move here if you are into nature and saving money!
Central Dallas is in stark contrast to East Dallas. Filled with dining and shopping establishments, nightlife favorites, D-link buses (free public transport), and many other interesting destinations and useful amenities, Central Dallas neighborhoods are ideal if you want to be in the center not just geographically but also figuratively.
In West Dallas, you get to take advantage of easy access to Fort Worth and Arlington through I-30. Costs have also been gradually increasing partly due to recent efforts to revitalize this originally working-class area. You can still get to know many residents who have been living here a long time.
A walk around Oak Cliff will show you mixed sights and make you feel equally conflicting emotions. The subdivisions and residents here can vary a lot. There are streets with dilapidated structures and places with very clean, new facilities. Likewise, the population can substantially differ too in terms of background. If you plan to live in Oak Cliff to be near a certain place, for example, choose your street carefully.
Home to the unbelievably affluent, Park Cities properties have a median value of more than a million dollars. Regardless of whether or not you want to (or can) live here, you may want to drop by just the same to check out the so-called Lover’s Lane, where you can find great destinations for dining, shopping, and recreation.
Other interesting neighborhoods you may want to check out are Grapevine, M Streets, Trophy Club, Colleyville, and Uptown. Grapevine is known for its festivals and parks, M Streets for darling homes built nearly a century ago, Trophy Club for its golf facilities, Colleyville for its low crime rate, and Uptown for its destinations appealing to the urban and hipster markets.
Are there nice schools there?
Dallas ISD employs nearly 20,000 people in its over 200 schools and teaches over 150,000 students in total. You may also want to take a look at some top-rated schools that happen to be in Dallas. They include Uplift Education North Hills Prep, Judge Barefoot Sanders Law Magnet, Harry Stone Montessori Academy, and School for the Talented and Gifted.
Is the transportation system any good?
Dallas has so-called D-link buses, which provide transportation free of charge. You also want to know about DART and TRE. The public transportation is well planned and quite easy to figure out, but the fact remains that traffic in Dallas is terrible.
When choosing a neighborhood to move to, make sure to check how long your travel time will be. Dallas is huge and part of the bustling DFW area, so even areas that are close by can feel like too far away due to the length of time you have to sit in traffic.
How is the weather?
Tornadoes, floods, and hail storms are common in Dallas, so if you really want to move here, do master basic safety and emergency tips. Also, if you have a car, try your best to find a residential property with covered parking. Hail storms in Dallas can get quite intense and might damage your car.
How is the food?
Dallas is home to a diverse population, so it is not surprising that you can also find a lot of dining places here featuring many different cuisines. There are foodie favorites in nearly every street or alley. These can be anything from food trucks and hole-in-the-wall restaurants to expensive bars and fine dining places.
Tacos are big in Dallas. There are many different kinds all over Dallas, and new ones keep on popping up. Tex-Mex is also very popular and offered in a large number of restaurants.
What is this “Cowboys” thing I keep hearing about?
Dallas is also known for its sports teams, including the Dallas Cowboys, who are also known as “America’s Team.” They play at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington and have won the Super Bowl several times. Another notable team from Dallas is the Mavericks at the NBA, as well as a number of known college teams.
How are the people?
The Dallas community is great if you want to socialize with people from diverse backgrounds. The city has large populations of Jewish, African-American, Mexican-American, Latino, and Hispanic populations. You can also encounter people from different religions, faiths, and gender groups. We think this is a great environment for individuals and families alike. It is always good to be exposed and open to many types of communities.
What are some great attractions?
While Dallas has a lot of malls, restaurants, boutiques, and many similar destinations, it is well-known for its music and arts and culture scenes. You can check out Deep Ellum, a district famous for its nightclubs and bars and its history as a destination for jazz and blues artists and fans. Other places that are worth visiting in Dallas are their libraries, zoos, and country clubs.
Is crime a problem?
Dallas was home to some notorious names in history, such as the Dallas Crime Family and Bonnie and Clyde. Today, crime is not intolerable, but it can be a problem at times. Do not get us wrong, though. We think it is safe to say that the peace and order situation in Dallas is more or less the same as in other average urban cities. Dallas is large and home to people from different backgrounds, so it is expected that things are not always as peaceful as we wish.
Some Final Words Before You Move
As mentioned earlier, moving especially to a different state is never easy, and this applies to Dallas too. The Big D, as it is endearingly called, is huge and intimidating, and costs and transportation can be major concerns. Our final piece of advice is for you to check where you are right now in terms of work and income and come up with a realistic and safe plan. You can work with a financial adviser for assistance to make sure you are not biting off more than you can chew. Good luck, and see you in Dallas!