In many respects, Texas stands alone—this iconic state is huge and its people are proud.
Texas is one of the few states in the country that gives its citizens autonomy, independence, and freedom to decide their future. With its wide-open spaces, there's plenty of room for growth, and the friendly business environment makes it attractive for businesses and workers alike.
Besides the wide variety of affordable real estate, the dining scene is deliciously sophisticated that being overweight is inevitable. Add on the vast array of natural resources and living in Texas can be overwhelming. We have to be honest though and admit that Texas also has its fair share of shortcomings.
Are you pining for a more simple life in Texas? Contact us today and we will help you set down family roots in the Lone Star state.
Cost of Living
Texas is only one of eight states that do not have an income tax. However, buyers have to contend with high property taxes before buying a home. The average household pays over $3,300 in real estate taxes every year, making Texas’ the fifth-highest property tax rate in the country. This is 60% higher than the average property taxes in the United States. What’s more, before you can even buy or rent a property, your lender or landlord must first review your credit score. This means you could miss out on your dream home if your credit score is negative.
At 6.25%, the state sales and use tax are also high. Add a local tax of 2% and the combined sales and use tax of the state is 8.25%. For example, if you buy a $20,000 vehicle, you will take on another $1,650 in sales taxes. Ouch! Anything you buy is hit with a big sales tax and it can be challenging to save some money especially when you have set some short-term financial goals.
Texans are fiercely independent and because they love their guns, you will discover that open carry is common more so in the rural areas. Furthermore, the castle doctrine and stand-your-ground laws allow a person to use deadly force against any potential threat to your person or property. People who love sport shooting, hunting, and anything the Second Amendment entails love it here. But if the sight of guns makes you cringe, moving to Texas may not be a good idea.
High Crime Rates
When it comes to safety, some areas have a higher crime rate than others. For example, the rate of violent crime in Texas has been climbing since 2015. Simultaneously, the ratio of police officers to the total population has been on a decline. According to data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, there are two officers for every 1,000 people. That is roughly 0.5 less than the average in the country. Cities that fall in the category of a higher than average crime rate include Odessa, Beaumont, and some parts of the Houston metropolitan areas. With due diligence, such statistics should not deter you from moving to Texas as any state is prone to crime.
Access to Affordable Health Care
Although Texas has plenty of employment opportunities and a booming economy to boot, its quality of life ranks it at 46 out of 50 states. This is because access to healthcare can be difficult especially in remote, rural areas of Texas. When it comes to access and affordability of health care, the state ranks near the bottom of all states. Compared to the national average of 12%, more than 20% of adults living in Texas have no health insurance. But if you are young, healthy, and have employer-sponsored health insurance, moving to Texas might not be a problem.
If you choose to live in Texas, you have to take the good and the bad of the Texas weather together. The winters in Texas can be mild. However, the mild winters lead to hot and humid summers which can stretch from May through September. High temperatures routinely hit the 90s range. Add on the threat of a prolonged drought and access to water can be limited creating a unique challenge compared to other states.
Extreme weather phenomena are also quite common. The Red River Valley of North Texas has experienced more tornadoes than any other state. Given all the possibilities for severe weather, it's advisable to carry a separate insurance policy to protect your property from damage by hurricanes and tornadoes. This means you'll have to contend with higher annual costs for your home maintenance.
One facet of Texas food you will discover is that Southern cooking is hard to resist. It's common to lose your self-control when eating Blue Bell. You may not even touch your food after getting too full from chips and salsa. To get your taste buds on overdrive, swing by the Red Dirt BBQ & Music Festival, where you'll get to sample some of the best barbecues Texas has to offer. On top of BBQ-and-steak cravings, Tex-Mex is a favorite food craving for many. Texas is also home to many delightful Mexican restaurants, and resisting temptations of sizzling fajitas and fresh guacamole may be a hard sell.
Too Much Music
Music, which is as diverse and important as the state and its people is among the splendors of Texas. The musical fabric has woven different genres including Jazz, Blues, Texas Country, Rock'n' Roll, Gospel, and Cajun among others. On any weekend, many talented red dirt musicians play Texas Country at local music venues or BBQ joints. There are also numerous musical events such as Summerfest, Edgefest, and Austin City Limits to contend with. What’s more, Austin is the Live Music Capital of the World.
Urbanization and Traffic
Urbanization and all that goes with it are some of the advantages of living in Texas, but they come at a cost. The population of Texas is growing rapidly and Austin in particular is feeling the effects of the population growth. Companies and well-known business executives relocating to the area are partly driving the growth in population. A 2020 CNN report showed that approximately 40 companies relocated to Austin including Tesla which is building a giant new giga-factory in Austin. Even Elon Musk ditched his Bel Air home and moved to Texas.
The newfound freedom of working remotely is also driving the rapid urbanization of Texas. Because people are no longer tied to their workplace, it’s much easier to move from congested cities such as L.A., Chicago, or New York. As people increase, so does the traffic. Interstate-35 is the primary artery that connects Austin and San Antonio to the Dallas metropolitan area. Because it’s heavily traveled, traffic can be a nightmare, especially during peak hours. Even a simple trip to the grocery store can at times turn into a two-hour traffic nightmare.
Because there is so much land to cover, people tend to drive fast in Texas. If you prefer driving at moderate speeds, you'll probably hate it here as the speed limit on the freeway is upwards of 85 miles per hour. Besides having to contend with congestion issues and traffic, Texans also have to deal with collisions. According to information published by the Houston Chronicle, roughly 10 people die every day from road accidents. In 2017, 3,700 people died from road accidents while another 17,500 were left with life-changing injuries.
Intrastate Travel is a Challenge
The state of Texas is large. For example, if you were to travel from the east-to-west of Texas, the 740 miles drive from El Paso to Houston would take 10 hours. You will end up in a different time zone at the end of your journey while still being in the same state. If traveling north-to-south from Amarillo to McAllen, the outcome is largely the same. With that in mind, trying to get to the other side of the state can be a lengthy undertaking.
Whether to move to Texas or not is a mixed bag of advantages and disadvantages that you may or may consider being an issue. Every Texan household whether in the urban centers or rural areas is faced with different situations that highlight the good of Texas alongside the bad. If you enjoy a bustling metropolis, big skies, diversity, and beach lifestyle, then you may want to consider moving to Texas. Set a new goal to move soon, and allow our real estate agents to help you find the perfect place in Texas to call home.Posted by Richard Soto on