Y’all! Are you ready to make your move to Texas? (Pro tip: We actually do say y’all here, occasionally, so feel free to practice.) Texas has long been a desirable place to live — in part because of its varied landscapes throughout the state, from mountains and prairies to coastline and forests. But its unique mix of urban jungles and wide-open spaces appeals to anyone looking for a place to live that perfectly suits their way of life.
Now as major corporations continue to relocate to the Lone Star State and bring with them thousands upon thousands of jobs, relocating here has become more popular than ever. Compared to other major metropolitan areas in the country, big Texas cities typically offer a lower cost of living without sacrificing any of the benefits of an active, cosmopolitan lifestyle. People here have a reputation for being friendly and that’s definitely not a myth, especially in the many close-knit neighborhoods where singles, couples and families have been thriving for decades and working together to make their communities the best they can be.
Of course, no place is perfect. However, we here at Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty have every confidence that the state we love so much will cast its spell on you, too.
So, what to know?
1. The real estate is rather affordable.
Texas has long been a place where people can get more bang for their buck when it comes to real estate, especially if you’re moving here from places such as California or New York. Navigating the real estate market is easy if you work with an expert who knows inside and out the city you’re looking to call home. A quick search at briggsfreeman.com will help you find any type of property you can imagine, whether it’s in the brokerage’s home territory of North Texas or elsewhere in Texas’ 269,000 square miles. High-rises, ranches and lake houses represent a few of the real estate options for sale, but you’ll also find thousands of places for lease should you want to settle here quickly and get to know the parts of town before committing to a home purchase.
2. The weather is fantastic (most of the time).
Despite the freak ice and snow storms you witnessed on the news this past February, Texas generally has some of the best weather in the country, with abundant sunshine and warm weather most of the year. Temperatures can get over 100 for several days in a row during the summer, but you might even find yourself wearing a sweater indoors in July because the air conditioning almost everywhere more than compensates. Weather events such as hurricanes in the south and tornadoes throughout much of the rest of the state do happen sometimes (though they are rare occurrences), but that comes with the territory. Otherwise, the opportunities to enjoy margaritas on a patio present themselves at an above-average rate.
3. You’ll eat the best food in the country.
Don’t even try to argue. The food in Texas is the best in the nation (and really the world, but we’ll try to be humble here for a minute). Steaks, Tex-Mex, coastal Mexican cuisine, interior Mexican food and the most incredible barbecue on the planet all await, regardless of where you settle. These are the culinary genres that you’ll fall in love with over and over again, but Texas also boasts chef-driven restaurants and mom-and-pop stables by the hundreds, so you’ll never go hungry or lack options for satisfying even the most specific craving.
4. Income tax? What income tax?
Because there’s no state income tax, your money can go a lot further in Texas. A recent report calculates the tax burden of citizens here at a mere 7.6 percent, which means 45 other states have higher tax rates. However, property taxes tend to be quite a bit higher than other parts of the United States, falling somewhere between 1.62 and 1.83 percent, but there are several ways to slightly reduce the tax you pay through homestead exemptions and other tactics.
5. The job market is hot.
Despite all the challenges of 2020, the job market in Texas continues to grow. North Texas has always been a strong contender in the job market, too, and for the eighth consecutive month, the Dallas-Plano–Irving metropolitan area added jobs with an increase of 25,000 positions in December 2020 alone. In total, 24 of the 26 major metropolitan areas in the state during the same period added jobs for a combined employment increase of 66,400 jobs. More than 50 Fortune 500 companies have their headquarters in Texas, which adds to the overall positive job market.
6. There are cultural opportunities galore.
World-class museums, opera companies, dance troupes and theater groups thrive in Texas, creating one of the most diverse arts and culture scenes you’ll find anywhere. Dallas boasts the largest contiguous arts district in the United States, while Fort Worth, Houston, Austin and San Antonio each have thriving arts scenes that ideally represent the cultural vibe of each city.
7. There is so much space.
The sprawl is real. First-timers to Texas often don’t fully grasp how spread out things are, not just in the state as a whole but in each city. The Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex consists of multiple towns and cities that pop up one after another to create what feels like one really big city, adding to commute times depending on where you’re headed versus where you live. On the plus side, however — and it’s a big plus — you can find plenty of properties throughout the state that come with acreage, from a few to a few thousand. So, if you’ve always dreamed of living in gorgeous, wide-open spaces, Texas has everything you could ever want, whether you’re looking for an existing home or prefer to buy a bunch of land and start from scratch.
8. There can be a bit of traffic.
We mentioned this briefly in the section above, but it bears repeating. Because things tend to be so spread out in Texas, you could end up spending a great deal of time in your car when traveling around the city. Though not as bad as in some states, the traffic is consistently heavy during typical rush hours. But if you’re strategic about when you venture out, you can also experience lots of easy-breezy travel within the city.
9. You really can live exactly as you wish.
The juxtaposition of urban life against rural life may be a head-scratcher about Texas — but the two disparate types of living coexist perfectly here. Within even major metropolitan city limits, you can find properties with multiple acres to spread out on, and that only increases exponentially as you venture out into the countryside. Conversely, you’ll find countless options for worry-free high-rise and mid-rise living, whether you wish to be in the city center or further out in the suburbs.
The most important thing to know about Texas? It’s that a Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty agent has the inside scoop. You couldn’t have a better advisor, expert and tour guide.