A cross-country move is undoubtedly a life-changing decision. When deciding where to live, there are multiple factors you may want to consider. The pressure of finding a long-distance mover and making the trip is enough for one person to bear, let alone worrying about what to expect in a new neighborhood.
There is one thing that we know for sure, Texas has become a hot spot for ex-Coloradans, and the population continues to grow daily. The increase in population coupled with a buzz on the pros and cons of the great Lone Star state.
More people are migrating south now than ever before. If you are considering making a move down south, we will assess all the information you are wondering about and provide insight on a few things you haven’t thought of yet!
It Is True What They Say, Everything IS Bigger in Texas
Texas is the second biggest state, the following runner-up to Alaska, and its vibrant community has a personality even more significant than the land itself. While some states are experiencing a decrease in population size, Texas is undergoing a massive increase.
People from all over the country are traveling to Texas in droves to enjoy the spacious surroundings and all it has to offer. The Dallas/Fort Worth area has seen an overall increase of 97,299 people in the past year. It is among the top 5 highest rates of inbound migration and international as well.
The DFW area is now home to over 7 million people, making it one of the most extensive metro areas in the country. The consistency in growth is parallel to economic and job opportunities. DFW is home to Sysco, Exxon Mobil, ConocoPhillips, Texas Instruments, and AT&T, just to name a few of the Fortune 500s.
Google and Apple have planted their roots in Austin, and NASA Johnson Space Center neighbors in Houston. The opportunities are limitless, and the experiences are unbeatable!
Cost of Living in Dallas Vs. Denver
With the rising cost of living, one must consider their expenses with making a long-distance move. Not only are the basic prices of moving pricey, but the average person is under great stress trying to organize and prepare for change. We all deal with change, and it is a necessary fact of life. It is essential you know what you are getting into before you make the change.
The average cost of a one-bedroom, 840 sq. ft. apartment in Denver is $1995.00.
An apartment with similar square feet in Dallas would cost you $1570.00.
That is a whopping $425.00 difference. Not only is the cost of rent substantially less, but you will also save on your energy bill! Texas has a deregulated market which allows a person to choose their providers in energy and have many different options.
The median cost of a new home in the Dallas metroplex averages $429,000 for a single-family home, with the livable wage at $15.20 per hour. This is quite the increase from previous years but a decrease compared to Denver. The median cost of a similar home in Denver sits at $644,000. This is a dramatic difference, and the Big D offers you more bang for your buck!
Job Market and Professional Opportunities
The job opportunities are endless in the Dallas/Fort Worth metro area. Dallas is known for its blue-collar jobs, as many people work in the oil and gas field. Many young professionals are also moving to Dallas for their start in the tech industry.
The tech world is becoming one of the fastest-growing industries in the metro area. The job hunt is guaranteed to be short and sweet if you are inquiring about work. The number of jobs has grown exponentially in the past years, providing a lucrative lifestyle for those who choose to take the leap to Texas.
The median household income has also increased, to $63,000, creating a comfortable space for singles and families. You have plenty of opportunities to fully immerse yourself in a culture of professional development and an assortment of options to choose from.
If you are seeking a change or a step forward in your current field of work, those options are all available to you!
You Get a Little Break on Taxes
The standard household income is not the only upside to residing in Texas, as you get a break on personal income or state tax! That is a lot of money that goes right back into your wallet, and indeed, something Coloradans are not used to. Colorado has state and personal income tax, and on every check stub, you will see that reminder.
Home and vehicle taxes work a little bit differently. The local counties have the authority to collect taxes. According to Texas Comptroller, state tax is currently 6.25%, and the local counties can raise that by 2%. There is a little give and a little take when it comes to collecting.
Education is For Everyone
Education is quite the force to be reckoned with in the great city of Dallas. There are excellent schools and universities available all over the metro area! Dallas is composed of over 300 public and private schools, many of which are ranked as some of the world’s best. Higher education is accessible with colleges throughout the DFW area.
You have the options of the University of Texas at Dallas, Southern Methodist University, University of Northern Texas, and the University of Dallas, just to name a few. Trade schools are also a common education choice, and plenty of options are available.
There are plenty of trades to acquire and even more positions to fill. Education is something held of esteemed value and continues to evolve and expand for the aspiring citizens of Texas.
Dallas Has an Expansive Public Transportation System
Cars are not something you are condemned to in Dallas and maybe just the thing to avoid, given the traffic. The public transit system is sweeping the city and allows for an alternate mode of transportation. DART has a light rail system that provides for walkability in the city and suburbs nearby and is the biggest in the country.
Downtown Dallas and nearby areas are an easy commute via DART, but once you get to some of the extended suburbs, your route can get off course. The bus and light rail schedule can become a hassle regarding personal plans and needs.
As a newbie to Dallas and its public transit system, it is best to download the DART app and schedule your trips in advance.
Traffic Is Something You Cannot Avoid
No one wants to get in their car after a long day in the office only to sit in traffic, but everyone in Dallas is subject to this as routine. Rush hour starts at 3PMand everyone seems to be rushing on the road to nowhere. The same traffic begins first thing in the morning again. The Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex has some of the worst traffic in the country. There is no disputing how frustrating traffic can be.
Denver’s traffic and rush hours have been rising due to an influx of people moving to the city in past years, but it is moderate compared to Dallas. Be prepared to get a DART pass or brace yourself for the long commutes.
The Suburbs of Dallas Are Splendid
Moving from Denver to Dallas can be stressful, and finding the right place to plant roots is time-consuming. The suburbs of Dallas are unique. They all offer their own perks and personalities.
Plano is located North of Dallas and once was a quaint farming community. It is now a sought-after place to settle down with a family. Plano offers the best of the best in schools, shopping, dining, and livability.
The city provides its children the opportunity for some of the most outstanding education, setting them up for success and providing them the ability to prepare for their future. You will always want to eat out in Plano.
The dining is next to none, with over 600 restaurants to choose from. You have good old-fashioned barbeque and even farm-to-table experiences. Texas Health Presbyterian hospital services Plano and surrounding areas being one of the only hospitals offering level 3 ICU and NICU. With access to everything, why would you ever want to leave?
Frisco offers a vibe similar to Plano – very family-friendly. It is also a diverse community welcoming people of various ages, cultures, and backgrounds. It is one of the safest places in the Dallas area, providing its native’s security daily.
There are measures in place in each neighborhood to ensure that safety remains of priority. Frisco is devoted to academic excellence while offering each student the ability to individualize their learning experience and providing a multitude of extracurricular activities.
The outdoors is always calling! Beavers Bend, Frisco Commons, and BF Phillips Community Park all offer walking trails, playgrounds, picnic tables, and picturesque scenery. Frisco is home to the Dallas Cowboys practice stadium, The Ford Center at The Star.
The stadium is shared between the Cowboys and the community, offering children their first kick-off opportunity as well! All and all, Frisco offers a warm community and a beautiful environment for any family to live in!
McKinney sits on the outskirts of the Dallas area and provides a warm welcome to anyone and everyone. McKinney has consistently been voted one of the most fantastic places to live in the DFW area multiple times, and it is no wonder people continue to flock to McKinney.
The community continues to grow, and the homes are not only breathtaking but generally affordable. The neighborhoods all have their own individual characteristics catering to a diverse group of people.
The assortment of things to do is endless. McKinney offers excellent restaurants, unique boutiques, and plenty of outdoor spaces. You will surely never get bored! If you are seeking a unique home and special place to live with endless opportunities for fun – McKinney is the place for you!
Fort Worth, TX
You cannot spell DFW without Fort Worth! Fort Worth is a remarkable historical place, offering safety, salacious job opportunities, and homes worth the investment. The cost of living has progressed higher than the national average here and for a good reason.
Fort Worth is sought after for its festivals, live music, and lively neighborhood. Not only that but the job market is rated one of the best in the country! The schools in the community are great, and there are many outdoor spaces as well.
One thing that cannot be surpassed is the cowboy culture – although it exists in many parts of Texas, the roots are strong in Fort Worth! If you want to saddle up and go for a ride, you will be in for the ride of your life.
Sweet Melissa is a neighborhood with buzz. It has grown and become another sought-after neighborhood recently, with Anna nearby and Dallas only 30-40 minutes away. Melissa is one of the fastest-growing cities in America!
The city is smaller than most, and the community is very tight-knit. If you are interested in knowing all your neighbors, this is absolutely the right place for you. The homes are next to none, with the current cost of living lower than the national average.
The downside to Melissa is the education – although the schools are good, if you want something great, you will have to venture elsewhere. The growing community calls for an evolution in all things surrounding. If you like something quaint and quiet, you may find yourself cozying up in Melissa.
The Weather Forecast…
Dallas Weather is precisely what you would expect, hot hot hot! The warm weather and humidity are sure to make your hair frizz in the Spring and Summer months. Your air conditioner is sure to be utilized A WHOLE LOT!
That electric bill may increase in the summer months, but as winter approaches, it is sure to be cold and wet. The humidity seems to plague all seasons. Winter brings sleet, ice, and very rarely snow. If it does snow, be prepared for a snow day!
Unlike Denver, winter weather in Dallas can shut the entire city down. People do not seem to enjoy (or know-how) driving in snowy and icy conditions. Being from Denver, you will be able to get out and about, but your favorite restaurant may just be closed.
Denver natives DO have the know-how, and it can be frustrating on the road with others who do not. Dallas has extreme seasons, sticky summers, and super wet winters. You will need to prepare always to have a great cooling system and possibly a portable fan with you.
The Food Truly is to Die For!
Being a foodie in Dallas will serve you well. DFW is known for its distinguished dining and the eclectic experience that comes along with it. The food speaks for itself. Dallas is known for its good old fashion BBQ.
The sweet smell of smoked meat radiates from all corners of the city. The infamous Hutchins BBQ, Terry Blacks BBQ, Baby Back Shack, and The Slow Bone all exist within city limits and are worth running (not walking) to.
Texas TexMex is out of this universe! You can find all variations of Mexican food, from street tacos to traditional. Every single dish is something to savor until the plate is empty. Farm-to-table dining has become more relevant with restaurants such as – Haywire, Tribal Cafe, and Texas Spice taking a seat at the table. We cannot forget about the vegan options!
The restaurant and service industry is taken incredibly seriously, as are the arts and festivities.
The Art and Music Scene is Something Serious
Everyone knows SXSW is the place to be, and every summer, musicians, artists, actors, and filmmakers flock to ATX to experience the live music and artistry. Austin is only a few hours away from Dallas, and the drive through hill country is a meditative experience. Austin is undoubtedly known for their arts and music scene, but so is Dallas.
Deep Ellum is full of venues and food trucks. It has recently has become the place to be for any show junkie, but everyone can get their fix. There are enormous venues in Texas – watching a performance at the AT&T Art center is sure to be an exhilarating experience.
The Dallas Arts District is full of sights and attractions! The art scene runs deep in the DFW area, and there is no question artists are highly valued members of the community. The Dallas Art Museum, Dallas Contemporary, and Museum of Geometric and MADI art are just a few of the MANY art museums in Dallas. The arts scene is a unique and lovely part of the city.
Many working artists are trying to get their feet off the ground using smaller galleries in the area. Don’t forget to check those out as well. You just may find the piece you cannot pass up! It provides people with substance for their daily lives and, of course, a little fun on the weekends.
The Great Outdoors and Recreation
Dallas wants you to get outside! The great outdoors is an endless exploration, and although Dallas is a city, it also offers plenty of greenery, hiking trails, lakes, and national forest land. With all the beauty around the Big D, it is difficult to spend the weekends indoors despite the humidity.
White Rock Lake
This is one of the most well-known reservoir areas in DFW. It is a great place to take a walk, play sports, or picnic! Some of the locals say the area is haunted, but that is up to you to make a final determination….
Great Trinity Forest
The Great Trinity Forest is the most extensive forest in the country. It is a stunning area with Trinity River and White Rock Creek flowing throughout the region. There are two major trail systems in the place that are fabulous for hikers and bikers, but the Big Spring sits smack dab in the middle.
The Big Spring has been a source of contention as many activists are advocating to protect the spring area, although it has fallen victim to fire. If you choose to visit, please be sure to leave no trace!
Klyde Warren Park
Klyde Warren is a public park located in downtown Dallas. The park is a hot spot for hangouts or naps in the grass on a beautiful sunny day! KW is home to many public events and festivals as it has an outdoor amphitheater and plenty of outdoor space for people to gather. Check out a concert in the park. You won’t regret it!
Sports Are Also Taken Very Seriously
Football is one of Dallas’ most significant pastimes, and yes, it is nearly a religion in the South. High school football is so heavily funded and followed patrons have gotten into physical fights over a loss or controversy over a play.
Although the Cowboys haven’t seen their most remarkable seasons in the past, their fans are diehard. Sundays aren’t just spent in church – they are spent watching football with family and friends.
Sports unify people from different places and backgrounds; much like music, they are united over the same front. The excitement from each game lingers through the city, and it is not just a game; it is a way of life.
Unfortunately, the Insects Are a Part of the Population
If you don’t like creepy crawlies or reptiles…you may be in for a bit of a scare. Unlike Denver, the bugs and lizards have a home in Texas and are EVERYWHERE. If you would like to plant flowers or a garden, Aphids are prevalent, and they are your archnemesis.
Be sure to get them as quickly as possible because as fast as they lay eggs – your flower beds could undoubtedly spoil. Mosquitoes are often seen in Denver but are much more prominent in Texas.
They thrive in humid environments and on humans. Get yourself a good tiki torch and some fly swatters if you plan on hanging out on the patio. You will have to become familiar with Scorpions, as most Texans are.
They like to find their way indoors to flee from the heat and can leave quite the sting. Lizards and frogs are also often seen in the front yard. They come in peace, but they will also slither and shake their way into your front door. Bugs are expected in Dallas.
They are indeed just a part of the population, and sometimes that is something that takes a little while to get used to.
Texas has heart, and its natives show nothing but that good ole southern hospitality. There is truly nothing like a warm welcome. Dallas is a place where you will know your neighbors, and your neighbors will greet you with open arms.
Coming from Denver to Dallas myself, I never experienced people so gentle and affectionate towards a stranger in my life. I also was never privy to what “Bless Your Heart” meant, but – that is for another article…
Dallas is in the South, and yes, it is quite different from other northern states, but the hospitality is unmatched. You will not ever find the same kind of embrace in a new place, anywhere else in the country.
A Quick Conclusion
Things genuinely are bigger in Texas and, in many cases, better than what Denver offers.
There are pros and cons, of course, and the weight of each is to be decided for yourself. We hope this helps with your choice to make a move down South.
Making these decisions is ultimately life-changing, and sometimes you do not know where to begin. Look beyond Dallas, Texas, to bring you the best barbeque, sweet tea, and even sweeter hospitality.
Dallas places goodness on a platter with the dining offered in city and suburban areas. Although it brings bugs and humidity, the community makes up for it tenfold. It is undoubtedly different from Denver, but some things always remain; home is where you make it.