Many Americans are packing up and a good portion of them are moving to Texas. A move to the Lone Star State can be jarring if you’re used to the big cities. Some changes are well and good — and some, not so much. Learn how it’s like to live in Texas and make your transition a little easier.
1. No Income Tax
Texas is one of the few states in the U.S. that doesn’t tax income. While most blue states are raising taxes to pay for social programs that don’t seem to work, Texas is doing fine with zero income tax. The state won’t take a cut of your salary, allowing you to put more into your savings or 401k. Even if you were to run a small business (or a large corporation), you still won’t be taxed for your income. The state’s tax-friendly environment is one of the reasons seniors — and Californians — flock to Texas.
2. Warm Weather
Texas has warm weather all year round. Snow is a rare occurrence, but it does get cold in some places. Of course, Texas is a large state — so you could choose to move to cooler or warmer places. Mild to non-existent winters allow you to spend more time outdoors and enjoy various activities. The state has numerous parks, rivers, and lakes where you can enjoy the majesty of nature.
Texas has one of the fastest-growing job markets in the nation. Corporations are moving into the state due to its business-friendly environment — creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs each year. Elon Musk’s Tesla made the move, and he joins a number of tech companies in the state. Both blue-collar and white-collar jobs are in-demand, ensuring employment for anyone willing to work. While most states were hit hard by the events of 2020, Texas managed to keep unemployment levels at a minimum. Today, the state has one of the best performances when it comes to jobs and employment.
4. Property Prices
You can buy a house in Texas for almost half the price of a similar house in California. Property prices in the state are very affordable and most houses came with huge tracts of land. If you’re from a big urban center, the amount you paid for rent should be more than enough to cover the monthly premiums on a home. Suburban or rural living is also less stressful, and you’ll be trading the noises of the city for more calming nature sounds.
Texas is a Liberal state (Libertarian) with mostly Conservative values. People will gladly mind their own business or leave you alone, as long as you don’t infringe on their space. The local government is pretty lax with its policies which minimizes red tape. Permits are quite easy to acquire, and home-based businesses don’t even need one.
1. Sales Tax
Texas gets most of its money from sales tax. Rates are at around 8-9 percent, so expect to pay a bit more for your usual groceries. Sales tax disproportionately affects the less wealthy. They have less income, and sales tax will cut a bigger percentile of their earnings.
Expect a lot of wind and rain during hurricane season. Most Texas homes have built-it shelters, and a lot of homes use stone instead of traditional wood. Of course, you can always build a stone house instead of buying an existing one — but it might increase your spending by $20,000-$50,000.
Prepare for a lot of bites in your move to Texas. The state is one of the most mosquito-infested states in the nation, and mosquito season lasts for almost the entire year. Larger communities in Houston and Dallas have city-wide surveillance and control. Smaller communities in smaller cities like Baytown and Cedar Park often rely on seasonal employees, or they take mosquito control practices into their own hands through homeowner associations or community programs.
4. Access to Services
Texas is a large state, and that can sometimes be a problem. Police stations, hospitals, and entertainment centers can be clumped up in more urban centers. Other than schools, almost every other government institution is sparsely placed — so expect more than a few minutes of driving if you live in a more rural part of the state.
A move to Texas should be an easy one to make. The state offers a multitude of attractive reasons to move, with only a few very minor disadvantages. Trade the stress from big city living to the calmer life in the Lone Star State.